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Mario Balotelli under investigation by FA for racist Instagram post

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Italy and Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli is under investigation by the FA for a post he made to his Instagram account that appears to be racist and anti-Semitic. He has until 6pm on Friday to respond to the FA explaining his actions and could face a hefty fine and lengthy ban if found guilty.

The post in question was an image of Nintendo character Super Mario accompanied by two snippets of text and the headline "Don't be a racist". Above the picture, text read "Be like Mario, he's an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican." Below the image there was more text which read "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew".

24 year old Balotelli quickly deleted the image from his Instagram account and indicated that it was not racist saying "My Mom is jewish so all of u shut up please". There was a huge reaction to the post with former FA executive and leader of the Jewish Leadership Council Simon Johnson left fuming. Johnson said "We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found," Johnson said. "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."

Balotelli then issued an apology to his Twitter account which read "I apologize if I’ve offended anyone. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour. I now understand that out of context [it] may have the opposite effect. Not all Mexicans have moustache, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money."

The apology continued "I used a cartoon done by someone else because it had Super Mario and I thought it was funny and not offensive. Again, I’m sorry." A spokesperson for Kick It Out has also welcomed the FA investigation saying "Kick It Out has been made aware of Mario Balotelli's Instagram post by a Twitter user and has now forwarded on to the FA to look into the matter."

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