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Balotelli banned for Instagram post
18 Dec 2014 18:06
Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been banned for one match, fined £25,000 and ordered to attend to an education course for making racist and anti-semitic comments on social media.
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The Italy international last week accepted a charge of an aggravated breach of Football Association rule E3, relating to references of ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality or religion or belief, after posting of an image of computer game character Super Mario on Instagram which included the words "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew".
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Balotelli did not request a personal hearing but submitted written mitigation to an independent disciplinary panel.
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Liverpool said they were awaiting the full written verdict from the panel but did not rule out further action against the player by the club.
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A Liverpool spokesman said: "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.
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"Any further action taken by ourselves in relation to this matter is between the club and player."
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The day after his posting - which he quickly deleted - Balotelli apologised by writing on Twitter: "I apologize 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."
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Balotelli, 24, deleted the offending post as criticism began to mount but FA guidelines state that "deleting an inappropriate posting, whilst advisable, does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken".
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The striker will now miss Liverpool's match at home to Arsenal on Sunday, subject to any appeal.
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