Liverpool's Mario Balotelli suspended over offensive Instagram post

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli earns one-match ban for offensive Instagram post

Liverpool's Mario Balotelli has been suspended one game following an insensitive post he made on his Instagram account.

The Italian striker known as "Super Mario" posted an image of the video game character Mario with the comment: "Don't be Racist! Be like Mario. He's an Italian plumber created by Japanese people who speaks English and looks like a Mexican ... jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew."

The post triggered a $39,000 fine from the FA, and Balotelli will be required to attend an education program for violating the organization's discrimination rules.

"The FA decision has made clear it was wrong," Balotelli wrote in a follow-up post on his social media accounts. "I am sorry that my teammates and supporters of Liverpool FC have to be penalized for something I did and now come to regret. It is my intention to comply with the decision of the FA and make sure it never happens again."

Balotelli, 24, was acquired by Liverpool after the team sent Luis Suarez, who led the Premier League with 31 goals in 2013-14, to Barcelona following his World Cup biting incident. Suarez was banned four months for his actions in Brazil.

The temperamental goal-scorer has found the back of the net twice in 15 appearances for The Reds.

He scored 14 goals for AC Milan in the Serie A last season and scored the game-winning goal for Italy in the World Cup in its opener against England during the group stage.

However, the Italians failed to advance to the knockout rounds after losses to Costa Rica and Uruguay, which included the Suarez biting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme 

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