Sources: Balotelli accepts FA charge relating to anti-Semitic comments

BY foxsports • December 12, 2014

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has accepted a Football Association charge in relation to making racist and anti-Semitic comments on social media but has offered mitigation for his actions, Sky Sports sources understand.

The Italy international was charged a week ago with breaching FA rule E3(1) as a result of his posting of an image of computer game character Super Mario on Instagram which included the words "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew." His offense was deemed to be an 'aggravated breach,' as defined by rule E3(2), as it included a reference to ethnic origin, color, race, nationality or religion or belief.

However, the 24-year-old has not requested a personal hearing but has instead submitted written mitigation.

The striker apologized for the posting last week, writing on Twitter: "I apologize if I've offended anyone. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humor. I now understand that out of context (it) may have the opposite effect."

Balotelli deleted the offending post as criticism began to mount but FA guidelines state that "deleting an inappropriate posting, whilst advisable, does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken." The minimum ban for a race-related on-pitch offense is five matches, but that would not apply in a case such as Balotelli's, for which no specific punishments are outlined.

Liverpool and the striker will hope any punishment is lenient, particularly as he has just returned to training after being sidelined by a groin injury since Nov. 8 and could be in line to rejoin the squad for Sunday's clash against arch-rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Midfielder Adam Lallana will be in the squad despite breaking two ribs just over a week ago while centerback Kolo Toure is expected to have recovered from a groin injury which kept him out of the midweek UEFA Champions League draw against FC Basel on Tuesday night.  

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