Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is set to face an FA investigation after he uploaded a racist image onto his Instagram page.
The Italian posted – and then deleted – an image of the computer game character ‘Super Mario’, alongside a caption which read: “Don’t be racist! Be like Mario. He’s an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speak English and looks like a Mexican… jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”.
Simon Johnson, the former FA executive and now chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found. 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.”
A Liverpool spokesman said: “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.”
Balotelli has since tried to defend his actions by writing on his Twitter account: “My Mom is jewish so all of u shut up please.”
A spokesman for the FA confirmed it’s looking into the matter, and if charged for breaching the FA’s social media guidelines, Balotelli could face a five-game ban, the minimum punishment on race-related breaches.