Premier League

Balotelli asked to leave shopping mall

City forward Mario Balotelli continues to steal headlines in England.
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Manchester City soccer star Mario Balotelli was asked to leave a shopping mall in northern England after refusing to take down his hood.

The Italian striker was trying to keep a low-profile at Manchester's Trafford Centre when he was approached by security staff and told that hoods are banned because they obscure shoppers' faces on CCTV.

Balotelli, 21, joked with staff that he would need to work on his disguise and left the mall on good terms -- with his hood up to avoid being mobbed by fans.

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A source told the Manchester Evening News, "He was very charming -- there was no scene. He wasn't booted out. He didn't want to take his hood down because he knew he'd be spotted by his fans but he was very polite and understood why he was asked to remove his hood."

The source added, "Rules are rules and they apply to all visitors -- whether they are footballers or not."

A spokesman for the mall said, "At 9.02pm on Monday, March 6, a customer was approached by security staff, and advised that wearing a hooded-top covering the head is against center policy."

He added, "The gentleman decided that rather than take down his hood, he would prefer to leave the center. He was polite and friendly throughout the encounter. The customer, who is believed to be a regular visitor to The Trafford Centre, then shook hands with our security staff and departed for his car."

Balotelli has become notorious for his badboy off-the-pitch antics, and reportedly broke a pre-English Premier League (EPL) match curfew last week to visit lap dancing club "X in the City" in Liverpool.

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