Football: Maverick Balotelli tired of being in 'eye of cyclone'

Italy's striker Mario Balotelli takes part in a training session on Monday, Oct 14, 2013, in Quarto, near Naples, on the eve of the World Cup qualifying football match against Armenia. Balotelli is tired of being in the eye of a hurricane, the p
Italy's striker Mario Balotelli takes part in a training session on Monday, Oct 14, 2013, in Quarto, near Naples, on the eve of the World Cup qualifying football match against Armenia. Balotelli is tired of being in the eye of a hurricane, the president of the Italian football federation (FIGC) said on Monday, after the maverick international became embroiled in another row. -- PHOTO: AFP

MILAN (REUTERS) - Mario Balotelli is tired of being in the eye of a hurricane, the president of the Italian soccer federation (FIGC) said on Monday after the maverick international became embroiled in another row.

"It's a demanding period for Mario and we have to understand the media pressure on him is excessive," Giancarlo Abete told RAI radio, a day after the AC Milan forward allegedly pushed away a television camera during a media scrum at Naples railway station.

"He can't take one step, or write one word, without it being interpreted in any number of different ways. He's a bit tired of always being in the eye of the cyclone.

"He's a 23-year-old lad who needs to grow and improve but the pressure on him is too great."

There were chaotic scenes as Italy arrived in Naples by high-speed train on Sunday evening for their World Cup qualifier at home to Armenia on Tuesday.

The squad were greeted by a media scramble at the station and Balotelli, who has a habit of getting involved in controversial incidents, appeared to push away a TV camera after it apparently clipped him on the arm as he walked by.

The striker, who missed Friday's 2-2 draw in Denmark due to illness, is serving a three-match domestic ban after insulting the referee at the end of the 2-1 home defeat by Napoli.

Italy have already qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.