Countdown to Brazil: Mario Balotelli victim of racist chants

Mario Balotelli was subjected to racist chants while training with teammates in Florence. (Getty Images)

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On Tuesday, HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel discussed racism in soccer around the world with stars Thierry Henry and Jozy Altidore. 

On Wednesday, Italian striker Mario Balotelli was subject to racist chants while at the team's training facility in Florence.

According to the Associated Press, a small group of children were responsible for the taunts, and police were forced to intervene. Balotelli was apparently heard saying, "Only in Rome and Florence are they that stupid."

Balotelli was described in the report as looking "visibly disturbed."

"It's unbelievable that in 2014 we still have this form of racism," Italian forward Ciro Immobile said. "It's not great for the nation. We represent Italy."

FIFA plans to have a zero tolerance policy against racism throughout the Cup.

Pele not happy with preparations: Hailing from the host country, Pele would figure to be a positive voice regarding the World Cup in Brazil. Not so much. Speaking directly about the status of the unfinished World Cup stadiums, Pele had this to say, via

"The political situation is difficult. The situation worries me. There has been sufficient time to bring the stadiums to completion. It's unacceptable. It is a disgrace.

"It's a pity that we still have a stadium that's not yet finished. The first match is going to be in the Corinthians stadium in Sao Paulo, which is called Itaquerao, but there's a problem because it's not finished yet. That's what I say is regrettable. That's a problem."

That is a problem, especially given we're just over 20 days until the opening match and all of the seats have not yet been installed. 

High schooler nets insane volley: Just watch, then we'll talk.

That's Lagos Kunga of The Paideia School in Atlanta burying an insane volley to bring his team within a goal in the Georgia state championship. They went on to win, 4-2, no doubt inspired by Kunga's strike.

Sex, alcohol banned by Mexico manager: Miguel Herrera isn't taking any chances with his side, depriving his players of both sex and alcohol for the duration of the Cup.

"If a player can not endure a month or 20 days without having intercourse, then you are not prepared to be a professional," Herrera told Mexican newspaper Reforma, according to Yahoo. "Let’s play a World Cup, we’re not going to a party."

Seems reasonable enough.

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