Berlusconi's brother makes racist remark about Balotelli… and he just happens to be AC Milan's vice president
21:59 GMT, 5 February 2013
22:10 GMT, 5 February 2013
Racist: Paolo Berlusconi
Mario Balotelli is at the centre of a race controversy after he was called 'a little n*****' by the brother of AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi.
Newspaper boss Paolo Berlusconi, 64, made the shock remarks about Balotelli, 22, at a political rally just hours ahead of the former Manchester City player's debut for AC Milan following his return to Italy.
Berlusconi was attending a rally for FabrizioSala, the candidate for his brother's right wing coalition People of Freedom party when he made the comments – which were greeted with laughter by the audience.
After initially cracking a joke about Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino, Berlusconi turned his attention to striker Balotelli and said: 'I've finished. Right we are all off to see the family's little n*****. He's a madhead. All the young ladies are invited as well – you can even have a chance to meet the president (Silvio Berlusconi).'
Paolo Berlusconi's comments were greeted with laughter by the crowd and video footage of the rally in Monza on the outskirts of Milan showed him smiling at himself.
The incident was uploaded onto several Italian newspaper websites which were immediately flooded with dozens of outraged comments one said: 'What an insult for Italy and Italians' while another on La Repubblica read: 'I didn't know the brother was a clown – they really are a family of buffoons.'
Dream debut: Balotelli netted twice on his AC Milan debut
Paolo Berlusconi, who is vice president of AC Milan, is also the editor of il Giornale which is seen as a mouthpiece for Silvio Berlusconi and his People of Freedom party, and like his older brother he has been involved in several corruption scandals.
In 2002 he was found guilty of false accounting and given a nine-month sentence and ordered to pay a 49 million Euro fine while three years ago he was given a further four months for another charge of false accounting.
Racism is a growing problem in Italian football and by coincidence last month AC Milan walked off the pitch during a friendly after Kevin-Prince Boateng was subjected to racist taunts.
International duty: Balotelli is currently away with the Italy squad
Balotelli himself was often targeted by racists while playing for Inter Milan and it was one of the reasons he decided to quit Serie A and try out the Premier League, but his return also sparked ugly chants from rival Juventusf ans who sang at a game last week: 'If we jump Balotelli dies.'
Last year regional councillor Paolo Ciani – from a right-wing party – posted a picture on his Facebook page, which depicted the Italy international working in a field of cabbages as an immigrant worker.