FA investigating Mario Balotelli over Jews and money post


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

The footballer reblogged another user’s image on Instagram last night that featured the 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 under the FA’s racism regulations, which state that players are “responsible for any postings on their account” no matter the source, and that “deleting an inappropriate posting ... does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action”.

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.

But he later apologised for the post, which also had text above the video game hero reading: “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, who has previously threatened to “kill” any racists who throw a banana at him during a match, 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. I used a cartoon done by somebody else because it has Super Mario and I thought it was funny and not offensive. Again, I'm sorry.”

His club have indicated that they will deal with situation internally, with a spokesman telling BBC Sport: “We are aware of the posting which has since been promptly deleted by the player. We will be speaking to the player about the issue.”

Jewish Leadership Council chief executive Simon Johnson, who used to be an FA executive, earlier told The Telegraph: “We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found.

Mr Johnson added: “We call upon the FA to investigate this offensive social media post and to take action if appropriate if we are to succeed in kicking racism out of football.”

The incident comes just after Wigan chairman Dave Whelan being charged by the FA for racist remarks, including a comment that Jews “chase money”.

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