Liverpool, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli has received a one-match suspension from the Football Association for a post he made on social media that appeared to contain anti-Semitic and racist references.
The 24-year-old shared a picture of the Nintendo character Super Mario, with a headline that read "Don't be racist," and text that added: "Be like Mario, he's an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican. He jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew."
Balotelli deleted the post and has apologized for it, while he has also been fined $40,000 and ordered to attend an education course.
The ban means that Balotelli will miss Liverpool's match on Sunday with Arsenal, although the Italy international may not have been fit anyway since he has played just 45 minutes over the past month because of a groin injury.
Since his arrival from AC Milan in August, Balotelli has managed just two goals in 15 appearances, and he has yet to open his account in the Premier League for Brendan Rodgers' side.