Mario Balotelli banned over Instagram post


Mario Balotelli has been banned for one match and fined £25,000 by the Football Association over an antisemitic comment made on an Instagram post.

The Liverpool forward, whose suspension rules him out of Sunday’s home game against Arsenal, must also attend an education course devised to inform players of their responsibilities when using social media.

The Italian had earlier accepted the FA charge of breaching FA Rule E3[1] in that his posting was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper.

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."

A Liverpool spokesman said: "The club acknowledges the decision reached by the FA 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 Instagram image posted by 24-year-old displayed the Nintendo character ‘Super Mario’ alongside the words, “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a jew” was viewed by the FA as an ‘aggravated breach’ of Rule E3 [2] as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.

The former Manchester City forward later tweeted to deny the post was offensive, before apologising.

The incident follows Wigan chairman Dave Whelan being charged by the FA for making racist remarks, including the claim that Jews "chase money".

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