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Mario Balotelli: Liverpool striker sorry for Instagram post

This story contains language which you may find offensive.

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has apologised for a post on social media which appeared to contain anti-Semitic and racist references.

Balotelli, 24, quickly deleted the post from his Instagram page of Nintendo computer game character Super Mario.

The Italian had tweeted to deny the text of the post was offensive before his apology.

The Football Association is to investigate the post, while Liverpool say they will speak to Balotelli.

The picture posted by the Italian striker had an image of ‘Super Mario’ with the heading “Dont be a racist!”

The text read: “Be like Mario, he’s an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican.”

It finished: “He jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.”

Balotelli forwarded on a picture produced by someone else

Responding to criticism on Twitter, Balotelli tweeted: “My Mom is Jewish so all of you shut up please.”

He also described reposting the image as “my unlucky moment”.

However, he later wrote: “I apologise if I’ve offended anyone.

“The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour. I now understand that out of context it may have the opposite effect.

“Not all Mexicans have a moustache, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money.

“I used a cartoon done by somebody else because it has Super Mario and I thought it was funny and not offensive. Again, I’m sorry.”

A Liverpool spokesman told BBC Sport: “We are aware of the posting which has since been promptly deleted by the player. We will be speaking to the player about the issue.”

Former FA executive and current chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council Simon Johnson said Balotelli should face action.

“We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found,” Johnson told the Daily Telegraph.  “We call upon the FA to investigate this offensive social media post and to take action if appropriate if we are to succeed in kicking racism out of football.”

Under the FA’s social media guidelines, the minimum ban for race-related breaches of rules is five games.

In September, Merseyside Police investigated racist remarks made to Balotelli on Twitter after he posted a message during Manchester United’s 5-3 defeat against Leicester City.

 

Source: bbc.com

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