Balotelli misses target and FA investigate


The Football Association is investigating an Instagram post by Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.

The footballer reblogged an image featuring Nintendo character Mario, with the caption "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew". Despite deleting the post and apologising to fans, the Italy international could face a five-game ban.

Liverpool's £16m summer signing initially said: "My Mom is Jewish so all of you shut up please," referring to his adoptive Italian mother Silvia.

He later apologised for the post, which also included the words: "Don't be a racist! Be like Mario. He's an Italian plumber created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican." The striker wrote on Twitter: "I apologise if I've offended anyone. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour."

He added: "I now understand that out of context it may have the opposite effect. Not all Mexicans have a moustache, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money."

Liverpool FC stated they will deal with the matter internally.

Former FA executive, Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson called upon the FA to "investigate this offensive social media post."

Jonny Wineberg, vice-president of the Jewish Representative Council of Greater Manchester, said the post was "incredibly offensive… he will be aware that someone like him, in the public eye, will be paid attention to. He should be more careful."

The Board of Deputies welcomed the FA's involvement. Its president, Vivian Wineman, said: "Balotelli's sharing of images which use unacceptable language and appeal to classic antisemitic tropes is troubling.

"We were pleased to see his immediate retraction and apology. Such language has no place in public discourse." The incident follows Wigan chairman Dave Whelan being charged by the FA for racist remarks, including saying Jews "chase money".

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