Racist Juve fans might stop match

MILAN - Inter Milan's game at faltering Juventus tomorrow could be stopped if home fans again racially abuse visiting striker Mario Balotelli, though the 19-year-old is unlikely to start for the Serie A leaders.

MILAN - Inter Milan's game at faltering Juventus tomorrow could be stopped if home fans again racially abuse visiting striker Mario Balotelli, though the 19-year-old is unlikely to start for the Serie A leaders.

Juve were forced to play a game behind closed doors after fans chanted "a black Italian does not exist" at Palermo-born Balotelli in the corresponding fixture last season.

Similar songs have been heard from Juve supporters in the run-up to the game and Italian soccer federation chief Giancarlo Abete has said the referee and the police will be able to suspend the game for 10 minutes if racist chants occur.

Inter captain Javier Zanetti will not tolerate any abuse.

"I will not hesitate to go to the referee and ask for the match to be stopped," the Argentine told reporters. "Mario is calm, he knows there is no defence against stupidity."

Some of the sting may be taken out of the game if Balotelli, linked with a move to Arsenal, is omitted from Inter's squad as he was for Sunday's 1-0 win over Fiorentina.

Juve fans argue most of their chants against the forward are because of his confrontational attitude rather than his colour.

AC Milan, in second place, host Sampdoria earlier tomorrow, hoping for a fifth straight league win and then a Juve victory. In another big grudge match on Sunday, mid-table AS Roma face Lazio, looking to build on their recent revival in form while their city rivals are a point above the drop zone. - Reuters

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