Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli was charged by the Football Association on Friday for re-posting a message on Instagram that contained racist and anti-Semitic references.
Balotelli appeared to endorse an image of computer game character Super Mario on the social media website which included the words “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”.
The post was titled “Don’t be a racist” and continued: “Be like Mario. He’s an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican.”
The FA announced in a statement: “Mario Balotelli has been charged by the FA in relation to a recent posting on social media.”
“It is alleged the Liverpool player breached FA rule E3 in that his posting was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper.
“It is further alleged that this is an ‘aggravated breach’ as defined by FA rule E3 as it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or color and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief.”’