Italy international Mario Balotelli is taking a no-nonsense approach to racism during this summer's European Championships, stating his intention to walk off the pitch should he be on the receiving end of any racial abuse.

The controversial frontman has been speaking to France Football ahead of Euro 2012, with the Manchester City striker intimating that he would find it impossible to turn a blind eye to racial abuse, threatening to kill if someone ever threw a banana at him in the street.

"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.

"I hope there will not be a problem at the Euros because if it does happen I would straight away leave the pitch and go home. We are in 2012, it can't happen."

Following a recent BBC Panorama special which highlighted potential racial issues in host countries Ukraine and Poland, the matter of racism in football has reared its ugly head once again.

Unfortunately for football, this isn't the only high-profile incident this season, with the well-documented Evra-Suarez case having made headlines for all the wrong reasons earlier in the year.

Similarly, one of England's own, former captain John Terry, will stand trial for alleged racist abuse in July upon his return from the European Championships, following accusations that he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand in a league match on 23rd October 2011.

Whilst the footballing world has been unanimous in its condemnation of any form of racism in all aspects of the game, it's almost impossible to deny that this social issue is one that still needs to be tackled head on, as these incidents suggest.

And Balotelli, the 21-year-old striker who was a regular target for racist abuse during his stint in Italy with Inter Milan, is one of the first players to publicly state his intentions should there be any unsavoury scenes that would undoubtedly mar this summer's championships.

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Mario Balotelli