Brescia president, Massimo Cellino, is once again in the headlines as he controversially referred to Mario Balotelli’s situation in the club as a result of being black and working to lighten up.
Balotelli was dropped from Brescia team that played against Roma on Sunday after head coach, Fabio Grosso, kicked him out during training.
Grosso later explained the reason for his action at a press conference.
“I demand great intensity and a high tempo in my training sessions,” the Italian said “When that doesn’t happen, I prefer to change and make the session tougher. He didn’t do that and was set to one side. At a certain point, he has to help himself.”
However, Cellino commented on the ex-Manchester City striker’s situation in Brescia during Monday Serie A Assembly which sparked controversy.
“What do you want me to say about him?” The president began. “He’s black. He’s working to lighten up but he’s having difficulty. We can’t think that one player alone will save the squad. That would be wrong for the team.”
He also called out Grosso for not handling the situation with Balotelli well.
“The coach was wrong because he only spoke about Balotelli and not the team,” he said. “I bought him because I felt that he could add value; instead he is becoming a point of weakness for overexposure in the media.”
“He must respond on the field and not on social media, but he isn’t the scapegoat for the difficulties the team finds itself dealing with.”
According to Goal.com, the controversy in the Cellino’s statement arose from his use of ‘nero’, a word that could mean ‘gloomy’ as well as ‘black’, while ‘schiarirsi’ can be interpreted as ‘lighten up’ as well as ‘clear up’.
However, Brescia shortly released a statement claiming Cellino’s words were merely a misunderstood joke.
“Regarding the quotes released this afternoon by President Massimo Cellino, referring to our player Mario Balotelli, Brescia clarify that they were a paradoxical joke, clearly misunderstood, released in the attempt to defuse excessive media exposure and to protect the player.”