Mario Balotelli racially abused during Italy training session

Mario Balotelli

Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete has condemned racist chants directed at Mario Balotelli as "unacceptable behaviour".

The AC Milan forward was the target of racist abuse from a group of men outside Italy's training headquarters in Coverciano, Florence on Wednesday.

"This is unacceptable behaviour," said Abete. "This should not happen - we will take this episode into account."

Local police intervened to allow Italy's training session to continue.

It is not the first time Balotelli, who joined AC Milan from Manchester City for £19m in 2013, has been the victim of racism since his return to Italy.

He had previously been racially abused by a section of Roma fans during a Serie A game against them.

But Abete, speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport,external-link insisted: "The important thing is that this is only a minority and they have no regard for civil coexistence."

Italy team-mate Ciro Immobile added: "In 2014 we shouldn't have to deal with racism. We have to improve as a nation.

"Fortunately, Mario was very calm. We know how serious this is but we don't want to further discuss this within the group."