Balotelli posted on his Instagram page an image that depicted ‘Super Mario’ with the caption “Don’t be racist!” beneath the character were the words “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.” He later deleted the post and apologized the next day.
In a statement, the Football Association said that Balotelli will be suspended for one game. He was also fined with £25,000.
“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,” the statement said.
“Mr Balotelli has also been ordered to attend an education programme.”
After hearing of the ruling, Balotelli posted the following on Instagram: “I am sorry that my team-mates and supporters of Liverpool FC have to be penalized for something I did and now come to regret. It is my decision to comply with the decision of the FA and make sure it never happens again.”