Italy striker of Ghanaian descent Mario Barwuah Balotelli has revealed that he has not played for the Italian national since 2014 because he is Black.
Balotelli, now playing for OGC Nice in the French Ligue 1, has not featured for Italy’s Azzurris since the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The ex-Inter Milan, Milan and Manchester City striker has also conceded having an attitude problem but believes he would have been forgiven if he was white skin.
Balotelli was born to Ghanaian immigrant parents but has never visited the West African country before and once said he’s not a Ghanaian but rather Italian.
However today he feels he’s being victimized because of his skin colour.
“In some stadiums, people chanted ‘There are no black Italians’ at me, yet I am the proof that there are,” he told So Foot in France.
“Even if I am Italian, born and raised in Italy, the law states I only became Italian once I reached the age of 18.
“The law is wrong and that is perhaps why to this day some people see black as the colour of diversity, of inferiority of an error in the middle of a team photograph.
“I think that if I had been white, I’d have had fewer problems. Perhaps I did cause some of my own problems and had the wrong attitude at times, but would I have been forgiven quicker? Absolutely yes,” he added.
Balotelli insists Italy is not a racist country but has racism problems.
He said: “Italy is not a racist country, but it does have some racists in it. The change is in the hands of the next generation and we must teach our children that everyone is the same, despite apparent different.
He added: “That party isn’t exactly beyond reproach when it comes to racism… That man was used and he didn’t realise it, because that way the Lega can say there are black Italians who see things the way they do.
“The main point is to reiterate that there are black Italians. There are Italians and that’s it. Full stop. That senator can’t be passed off as an exception, otherwise we are back to the beginning again. If he’d been elected for any other party, I would’ve had nothing to say.”
The Ghana FA officially made contacts with Balotelli to play for Ghana but he opted to represent the European country.
The 27-year-old has featured 33 times and scored 13 goals for the Azzurris.