Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been suspended for one match, fined £25,000 and ordered to attend to an education course after making racist and anti-semitic comments on his twitter page.
The Italy international did not request a personal hearing, but submitted written mitigation to an independent disciplinary panel, who handed out the punishment on Thursday. Balotelli will now miss Sunday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal at Anfield, subject to any appeal.
Balotelli apologised by writing on Twitter: “I apologise if I’ve offended anyone. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour. I now understand that out of context (it) may have the opposite effect.
“But the former Manchester City and AC Milan star was unable to avoid a ban that added to a troubled first season at Liverpool for the controversial forward.
The FA said in a statement: “Following an independent regulatory commission hearing today 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.”Mr Balotelli has also been ordered to attend an education programme.”