Totti rejects Balotelli's racism claim
Roma captain Francesco Totti has strongly denied suggestions he racially abused Mario Balotelli during the Coppa Italia final.
Totti was sent off during Roma's 1-0 defeat to Inter for kicking out at Balotelli, and Totti claimed in Corriere dello Sport that the Inter striker had insulted him and the people of Rome.
"Hearing an absolute beginner, but nevertheless someone with great gifts, repeatedly offending my fans, my city, my sense of belonging to Rome, as well as me personally, telling me that I am finished is unbearable," Totti said.
However, Balotelli was quoted as telling Gazzetta dello Sport that Totti had racially abused him, saying: "N***** ... yes, that's what he said."
Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, added: "If he says that, it means that his gesture was premeditated and he was harbouring rancour.
"I don't like it. Mario has sworn that he did not offend anyone. He admits he just said to him, 'Enough with kicks. Don't be a child and let's play football'. Nothing more, then Totti did the rest. I think that racist people are ignorant.
"If it was a premeditated gesture, he should get a six-month ban, not just a suspension in the Coppa Italia."
However, writing on his personal website, Totti has completely rejected those claims.
"I have never been a racist. I will never be a racist," he said. "I have never made a racist comment. I say it now with absolute certainty: never.
"With the same strength, I wish to say that there is behaviour akin to racism when it involves insulting someone purely for where they were born."
Roma have indicated that they do not plan to discipline Totti over the incident.