Mario Balotelli handed one match ban

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Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been banned for one match, fined £25,000 and ordered to attend to an education course after making racist and anti-semitic comments on social media.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, October 22, 2014: Liverpool's Mario Balotelli in action against Real Madrid CF during the UEFA Champions League Group B match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Italy international last week accepted a charge of an aggravated breach of Football Association rule E3, relating to references of ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality or religion or belief, after 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".

Balotelli did not request a personal hearing but submitted written mitigation to an independent disciplinary panel.

The FA said in a statement: "Following an independent regulatory commission hearing today Mario Balotelli has been fined £25,000, suspended for one-match with immediate effect, subject to any appeal, and warned as to his future conduct after he admitted breaching FA rules in relation to social media.

"The charge was that an image the Liverpool player posted on social media was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to FA rule E3(1).

"Furthermore, the posting was considered to be an "aggravated breach" as defined in FA rule E3(2) in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.

"Mr Balotelli has also been ordered to attend an education programme."

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 25, 2014: Liverpool's Mario Balotelli looks dejected as his side draw 0-0 with Hull City during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool said they were awaiting the full written verdict from the panel but did not rule out further action against the player by the club.

A Liverpool spokesman said: "The club acknowledges the decision reached by the independent panel and due consideration will be given to the written judgement once we receive it from the FA.

"Any further action taken by ourselves in relation to this matter is between the club and player."

The day after his posting – which he quickly deleted – Balotelli apologised by writing on Twitter: "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."

Balotelli, 24, 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 striker will now miss Liverpool's match at home to Arsenal on Sunday, subject to any appeal.

PA