Mercurial Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has a message for any fan that may be planning racist attacks on him during Euro 2012.
I will kill him.
Balotelli, who will be a part of the Italian team at the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine in June, was speaking to the publication France Football this week when he said, If someone throws a banana at me in the street, I will go to prison because I will kill him. Racism is unacceptable to me, I cannot bear it.
Fears of racism at Euro 2012 have been raised by some of the British press who have been investigating the Ukrainian team, Firms, that have ties to Neo-Nazis. Some of these ultras even issued warnings to Asian or black fans to stay home or risk violence.
If the racism happens while he is playing, Balotelli has another solution.
If it happened again I would straight away leave the pitch and go home, he said. We are in 2012. It can't happen.
The striker has faced racism before, both on and off the pitch while playing for Inter Milan and Manchester City.
Balotelli himself is somewhat of a surprising inclusion in the Italian side, but head coach Cesare Prandelli thinks he can keep Balotelli focused and in the game.
This off-putting and bizarre statement from Balotelli might give him pause about the selection, but what is done is done and fans will have to wait and see what kind of effect Balotelli can have on the Italian side.