Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli faces an investigation from the English Football Association after an Instagram post was criticized for being racist.
Balotelli posted a picture of Nintendo video game character Super Mario with text around the image saying "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew. Be like Mario.” The post also said, “He's an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican."
"We are aware of it and we are looking into it," the FA said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
Balotelli quickly deleted the post and apologized.
According to Football Association guidelines on social media behavior, Balotelli could be suspended for a minimum least five games if found guilty.
Balotelli has until Friday evening to respond to the charges. The Football Association says "deleting an inappropriate posting, whilst advisable, does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken.”
Balotelli has 35 shots on goal through nine Premier League games this season, but he has not scored and has not recorded an assist. Liverpool acquired the Italian forward from AC Milan in August.
- Scooby Axson