Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been suspended one game and fined £25,000 due to an allegedly racist Instagram post, the English FA announced Thursday.
The FA had announced on Dec. 5 that it had officially charged Balotelli with a breach of the association's rules regarding racially insensitive comments.
Balotelli posted a picture of the video game character Super Mario overlaid with text that said, "Don't be racist! Be like Mario. He's an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican." The text on the bottom portion of the picture read "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew."
Balotelli, who is Italian and nicknamed Super Mario, deleted the post and issued an apology on Twitter.
Balotelli acknowledged the suspension in a post on his Twitter account.
Balotelli joined Liverpool from Milan this summer. He has played 730 minutes in 10 games for the Reds but has yet to score a goal. The club has struggled offensively this season, with only 19 goals in 16 league games. Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez were the Premier League's top two scorers last season, but Suarez was sold to Barcelona this summer and Sturridge has been sidelined with injury.
- Dan Gartland