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Dirty Tackle

Italy manager apologizes for Mario Balotelli ‘joke’ while team is ‘forbidden’ from leaving their hotel

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle

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Prandelli with Balotelli. (Getty)

According to Italy manager Cesare Prandelli, his side has been kept inside their hotel in Salvador, Brazil amidst security concerns over the ongoing protests throughout the country. And it seems the confinement has blurred Prandelli's judgement as he ended up apologizing for a poor attempt at a "joke" about the team's leading scorer, Mario Balotelli, who was allowed out of the hotel to do charity work with local children in need.

From the BBC:

Prandelli said the AC Milan striker was permitted to leave the hotel because his "colour is different to ours".

But he later said: "I'm sorry. It was a joke. Of course." [...]

"Before I said something about the colour of our skin," added Prandelli. "I am glad we clarified that issue about why he was the only one allowed out.

"He was surrounded by all these people but he was working with a charity and doing something nice."

Italy's final Confederations Cup group-stage match against Brazil — both of whom have already sealed their advancement to the semifinals — will be played on Saturday after FIFA announced they have no plans to cancel the tournament being held at the center of nationwide unrest. There were reports that Italy requested FIFA consider abandoning the competition, but Prandelli denied that such an idea was ever entertained. From the Irish Times):

“While we were in Rio everything was fine and we could go out.

“In Recife and here we’re forbidden from leaving the hotel, so we have some concerns but to think about going home, absolutely not.”

It takes more than a revolution to stop FIFA from their regularly scheduled shakedown.

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