22 Dec 2014

Balotelli banned for post on social media

11:28 am on 22 December 2014

The Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been given a one-match ban by England's Football Association as punishment for his Super Mario post on social media.

The Italian, whose suspension ruled him out of the home game against Arsenal, has also been fined $50,000 and must attend an education course.

Italy and Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.

Italy and Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli. Photo: Photosport

The 24-year-old was charged by the FA for a post which appeared to contain anti-Semitic and racist references.

Balotelli had accepted the charge but wrote to the FA in mitigation.

After learning of his punishment, he wrote on his official Facebook page that the FA's decision "made clear" that his post had been "wrong".

He added: "I am sorry that my team-mates and supporters of Liverpool FC have to be penalised for something I did and now come to regret. It is my intention to comply with the decision of the FA and make sure it never happens again."

Former Manchester City forward Balotelli reposted an image of computer game character Super Mario on Instagram which included the words "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew."

He later Tweeted to deny the post was offensive, before apologising.

Balotelli returned to the Liverpool squad for Monday's loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford after six games out with a groin problem.

But he was not involved in Thursday's League Cup win at Bournemouth.

Balotelli has scored two goals in his 15 appearances for the club since signing from AC Milan in the summer.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.