Soccer

AC Milan won't appeal Balotelli's 3-match ban

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MILAN (AP)

AC Milan will not appeal striker Mario Balotelli's three-match ban.

On Monday, the Serie A club said it would appeal both Balotelli's ban for insulting a referee and the decision to close a section of the stadium for a match after racist chanting.

However, after receiving official documents pertaining to the decisions, the club announced on Tuesday that it will only appeal against the closure of its Curva Sud.

''Mario is no longer a child, he is 23 years old and he has to change,'' Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said. ''He is a potential champion but he has to stop certain attitudes towards referees.

''I believe Mario has enough good sense and capacity to understand that it's an important year and that he is in a situation in which he cannot make a mistake. Until now Mario has always behaved well. Sunday he made a mistake, I hope that will serve as a lesson to him. I believe I can give him a hand, but he needs to help himself too.''

Balotelli, who missed a penalty and scored in Sunday's 2-1 loss to Napoli, was given a second booking after the final whistle for his protests. The Italy striker automatically received a one-match ban for that red card and was suspended for a further two matches the following day.

He will miss the games against Bologna, Sampdoria and Juventus.

Balotelli may also be left out of the Italy squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Denmark on Oct. 11 and Armenia four days later. Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has previously dropped players who have breached his strict code of behavior.

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