Belfast Telegraph

Mario Balotelli banned and fined for Twitter outburst

By Carl Markham

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been banned for one match, fined £25,000 and ordered to attend an education course after making racist and anti-semitic comments on social media.

The Italy international last week accepted a charge of an aggravated breach of Football Association rule E3, relating to references of ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality or religion or belief, after his posting of 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".

Balotelli did not request a personal hearing but submitted written mitigation to an independent disciplinary panel.

The FA said in a statement: "Following an independent regulatory commission hearing today Mario Balotelli has been fined £25,000, suspended for one-match with immediate effect, subject to any appeal, and warned as to his future conduct after he admitted breaching FA rules in relation to social media.

"The charge was that an image the Liverpool player posted on social media was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA rule E3(1).

"Furthermore, the posting was considered to be an "aggravated breach" as defined in FA rule E3(2) in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.

Liverpool said they were awaiting the full written verdict but did not rule out further action against the player by the club.

A Liverpool spokesman said: "The club acknowledges the decision reached by the independent panel and due consideration will be given to the written judgement once we receive it from the FA.

"Any further action taken by ourselves in relation to this matter is between the club and player."

The day after his posting -which he quickly deleted - Balotelli apologised on Twitter.

The striker now misses Liverpool's match against Arsenal on Sunday, subject to any appeal.

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