- Balotelli claims Toni Iwobi was used to change the perception of black Italians
- The Italian striker has been a controversial figure all through his career
- The 27-year-old has 33 caps but last played for the Azzuri's in 2014
Mario Balotelli has hit out at Italy's first ever black senator who is of Nigerian roots, Toni Iwobi, for his involvement with Matteo Salvini's far right Northern League party.
The ex-AC Milan striker believes the party used Iwobi to try to change the people's perception about not being racist.
Balotelli said: “Italy is not a racist country, but it does have some racists in it.
"The change is in the hands of the next generation and we must teach our children that everyone is the same, despite apparent differences.
“That party (the Northern League) isn’t exactly beyond reproach when it comes to racism. That man (Iwobi) was used and he didn’t realise it, because that way the Lega can say there are black Italians who see things the way they do.
“The main point is to reiterate that there are black Italians.
"There are Italians and that’s it. Stop. That senator can’t be passed off as an exception, otherwise we are back to the beginning again.
"If he’d been elected for any other party, I would’ve had nothing to say."
Italy forward Mario Balotelli also has said his controversial career would have taken another dimension if he was white.
The 27-year-old admitted most of his problems have been from his own making yet he believes being black has also affected people's perception towards him.
Balotelli told French publication SoFoot: “In some stadiums, people chanted ‘There are no black Italians’ at me, yet I am the proof that there are.
“Even if I am Italian, born and raised in Italy, the law states I only became Italian once I reached the age of 18.
"The law is wrong and that is perhaps why to this day some people see black as the colour of diversity, of inferiority, of an error in the middle of a team photograph.
“I think that if I had been white, I’d have had fewer problems. Perhaps I did cause some of my own problems and had the wrong attitude at times, but would I have been forgiven quicker? Absolutely yes.”
During his stint with Manchester City, Balotelli famously let off fireworks in his bathroom, while his one-season spell at Liverpool was dismal scoring just four goals in 28 games.
Balotelli is coming to the end of his second season with French Ligue 1 side, Nice, having previously played for Inter Milan, Manchester City, AC Milan and Liverpool .
Despite playing 33 times for Italy, he last featured for his country in the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
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