Premier League

I can't prove innocence - Mario

TEAMtalk Media Group, TEAMtalk Media Group
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26/01/2012 10:07 +0100

The Italian was given the retrospective penalty after catching Scott Parker on the head with a flailing boot during City's dramatic 3-2 victory over Tottenham at the weekend.

Referee Howard Webb missed the incident during the game and the FA decided to act after reviewing video evidence, with City electing not to appeal against the charge of violent conduct.

But the Italy international, who scored the winner against Spurs from the penalty spot in the fifth minute of added time, has defended his action.

Balotelli is quoted as saying by The Independent: "I am not a villain or a violent player.

"I have accepted the ban because I couldn't prove my innocence. I didn't try to (place my) heel (on) Parker."

Balotelli missed Wednesday night's Carling Cup semi-final exit at the hands of Liverpool, with manager Roberto Mancini unhappy to be shorn of his key striker at a crucial time.

The City boss feels referee Webb changed his mind over the clash with Parker, robbing him of the forward for the Anfield game as well as clashes with Everton, Fulham and Aston Villa.

"I hope tomorrow they can change tonight's result because they decided about Mario after the game," said Mancini.

"The referee was there, 10 metres from the tackle. He could have sent Mario off at that moment, not after the game because he watched the video.

"That is easy. I can be a referee in the next game.

"He (Webb) can't say he didn't see it. He saw everything.

"Now it is finished and Mario can do nothing. We lost Vinny (Kompany) for four games for nothing and now we are without Mario."

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