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AC Milan soccer vice president describes Mario Balotelli with racist slur

02.06.13 at 11:45 am ET

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli is in the middle of another controversy over racism in Italian soccer.

Balotelli, who moved to AC Milan from Manchester City just a few days ago, was described as “negretto di famiglia” — translated as “the family’s little [n-word]” — by Milan vice president Paolo Berlusconi, younger brother of club president (and former Italian prime minster) Silvio Berlusconi.

Paolo Berlusconi made the remarks at a rally for a candidate for his brother’s right-wing People of Freedom party.

The translation of his comments: “OK, we are all off to see the family’s little [n-word]. He’s a crazy head. All the young ladies are invited as well – you can even have a chance to meet the president [Silvio Berlusconi].”

The remarks didn’t draw much attention from the Italian press at first. But the international media has picked up on the story as part of a series of racist incidents in Italian soccer. Recently, Milan midfielder Kevin Prince-Boateng staged a walk-off during a match when fans were shouting racist insults at him.

During Euro 2012, the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport published a cartoon depicting Balotelli as King Kong climbing Big Ben.

An AC Milan spokesman said Wednesday that there would be no comment from the club regarding Berlusconi’s remarks.

Read More: AC Milan, Mario Balotelli, Paolo Berlusconi, Silvio Berlusconi