Soccer federation: Juve to play in empty stadium

Updated: April 28, 2009, 11:14 AM ET
Associated Press

ROME -- The Italian soccer federation has upheld a ruling ordering Juventus to play its next Serie A home match in an empty stadium as punishment for racist insults hurled by fans at Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli.

An Italian sports judge ruled last week that Juventus must play against Lecce in an empty stadium on May 3. Balotelli, an Italian of Ghanaian descent, was racially abused during a 1-1 draw at Turin's Olympic stadium earlier this month.

Juventus apologized for the racist abuse but appealed the ruling, maintaining Balotelli and other players were booed at many other matches and the Turin-based club was being singled out for punishment.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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