FA bans Balotelli for one match, fines him £25,000 for social media post

Terry Balotelli England Italy

The FA has banned Mario Balotelli for one match and fined him £25,000 over a social media post which contained anti-semitic and racist references.

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been handed an immediate one-game suspension for an offensive post on social media.

The Italian international was charged by the FA for breaking rule E3(1) and posting something that contains anti-semitic and racist references.

The post in question was an image of video game character Super Mario which included the phrase: "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew."

In the immediate aftermath of the post, Balotelli claimed that the message wasn't offensive, but he later relented and apologised.

Balotelli has also been fined £25,000. He accepted the charge, but he wrote a letter to the FA in mitigation.

Liverpool have released a statement accepting the charge: "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," it reads.

"Any further action taken by ourselves in relation to this matter is between the club and player."

While Balotelli may be somewhat relieved that the punishment wasn't harsher, with some sources suggesting a five-game ban was on the cards, it is yet another blow during a tough spell at Liverpool.

Since joining from AC Milan, Balotelli hasn't delivered as expected and returned to Liverpool's squad for the defeat against Manchester United after six games out with a groin injury only to be kept out of yesterday's League Cup win against Bournemouth.

It's not the first time social media has landed Balotelli in hot water, he was heavily criticised for posting a picture of himself posing with a gun on Instagram while at AC Milan.

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