Mario Balotelli could be facing a Football Association investigation over posts on social media which provoked claims of racism and anti-semitism.
The Liverpool striker reposted an image from the computer game 'Super Mario' on his Instagram page which included the comment "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew".
The image of Super Mario – with whom Balotelli shares a nickname – appeared with the heading "Don't be a racist". The text then read: "Be like Mario. He's an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican" before the final line which has caused the controversy.
Balotelli quickly deleted the post but it soon spread on the internet. Balotelli, who has been a frequent victim of racism himself, responded on his Twitter account by writing: "My Mom is jewish so all of u shut up please". He also described reposting the image as "my Unlucky moment".
However, former FA executive and current chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council Simon Johnson said Balotelli should face action.
"We abhor all forms of racism, wherever it is found," Johnson told the Daily Telegraph. "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."
Under the FA's social media guidelines, the minimum ban for race-related breaches of rules is five games.