Mario Balotelli is set to miss Liverpool’s weekend match against Arsenal after being handed a one-game ban by the Football Association following an offensive post on social media site Instagram.
The Liverpool striker, who has also been fined £25,000 for the incident, will miss just one match for the Reds, subject to appeal.
The ban comes following a post Balotelli shared on Instagram which featured the cartoon character Super Mario, with the words: ‘jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew’.
The Italian international quickly deleted the picture and apologised on Twitter.
He said: ‘I apologise if I’ve offended anyone. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour. I now understand that out of context may have had the opposite effect.
‘Not all Mexicans have moustaches, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money. I used a cartoon done by someone else because it has Super Mario and I thought it was funny and not offensive. Again, I’m sorry.’
But the English FA- yesterday slapped him with a one-game ban.
A statement on their website read: ‘Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today [December 18, 2014], 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.