28 Jun 2012

Gazzetta sorry over Balotelli King Kong cartoon

9:10 am on 28 June 2012

The top Italian daily newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has apologised for printing a cartoon portraying the black Italy footballer Mario Balotelli as King Kong.

Media reports said Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola had reacted with fury at the depiction, which comes after the 21-year-old has battled racism in his homeland and abroad for years.

The cartoon of the Manchester City forward on top of London's Big Ben swatting away footballs was meant to be humourous and positive, showing the striker as a giant who had conquered England.

However, in the wake of Italy's Euro 2012 quarter-final win over England and ahead of their semi-final with Germany tomorrow, the cartoon has received complaints from readers.