Mario Balotelli has been praised by anti-racism campaigners for highlighting an offensive banner displayed by fans at his comeback game for Italy.
Anti-discrimination group Fare wrote on Twitter: “Well done to Mario Balotelli. standing up to racism in Italian football once again.”
The slogan “My captain is of Italian blood” in Italian was draped on a pitch-side wall during Italy’s 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in Switzerland.
Balotelli scored the opening goal with a powerful shot in his first national-team game since the 2014 World Cup.
On his Instagram account, Balotelli posted an image of the banner, adding his own message: “We are in 2018 guys. Wake up!”
Fare, which stood for “Football Against Racism in Europe,” is now a global organization. It has long worked with UEFA, and will help FIFA monitor discrimination at World Cup games in Russia.