2 Dec 2014

Mario Balotelli apologises over ‘racist’ Instagram post

Mario Balotelli apologises over a post on social media which provoked claims of racism and anti-semitism. He could be facing an investigation by the Football Association.

Mario Balotelli

The Liverpool striker reposted an image from the computer game Super Mario on his Instagram page which included the comment “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”.

The image appeared with the heading “Don’t be a racist”. The text then read: “Be like Mario. He’s an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican” before the final line which has caused the controversy.

Balotelli quickly deleted the post but it soon spread on the internet. Balotelli, who has been a frequent victim of racism himself, responded on his Twitter account by writing:

However, Simon Johnson, the former FA executive and now chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council told The Telegraph that the player should face action.”We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found,” Mr Johnson said.

“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.