Balotelli has also been fined £25,000 for his Instagram indiscretion.
The FA have come to their decision on the social media postings of Mario Balotelli, with the organisation confirming that the Liverpool striker will be suspended for one match and fined £25,000 for an Instagram post that was deemed to be insulting, offensive or improper and an “aggravated breach” of the rules due to its references to race and religion.
The punishment is carried out with immediate effect, meaning that Balotelli will not be available to manager Brendan Rodgers this weekend as the Reds host Arsenal in what could be a crucial match in the battle for the Champions League places – news that will come as a blow after the Italian international looked lively in last weekend’s defeat to Manchester United.
Balotelli had uploaded a post to his Instagram account, and linked to it through Twitter, that made reference to the Super Mario video game character and a number of racial and religious stereotypes, which were considered to be worthy of a ban by the FA despite the fact that the post seemed to be trying to subvert said stereotypes.
Whilst Balotelli is far from the first player to fall foul of the FA’s regulations on improper communications, he is certainly one of the most high profile to be banned for a social media posting, along with Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand who was stung earlier in the season.