Premier League: Mario Balotelli handed one-match ban for social media post

Image: Mario Balotelli: One-match ban for Liverpool striker

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been handed a one-match ban by the Football Association following his controversial post on social media.

iThe 24-year-old has also been fined £25,000, warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend an education programme.

A Liverpool spokesperson told Sky Sports News HQ: "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."

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Balotelli was accused of an aggravated breach of FA rule E3, relating to references of ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality or religion or belief, after his posting of an image on Instagram of computer game character Super Mario - with whom he shares a nickname - alongside a racial stereotype and anti-Semitic comment.

The Italian, who apologised for the post and argued that it was meant as a humorous anti-racist message, accepted the charge and did not request a personal hearing, but he did write a letter to the FA in mitigation.

Balotelli will now miss Liverpool's match at home to Arsenal on Sunday, subject to any appeal.

However, Balotelli suggested there would be no appeal after pledging to abide by the governing body's decision.

"Following the recent events related to my 'Super Mario' post, the FA decision has made clear that it was wrong," he wrote.

"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."

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