Balotelli accepts charge over Instagram post

Mario Balotelli has accepted a Football Association charge over a controversial post on social media.

The Liverpool striker was deemed to have committed an aggravated breach of FA Rule E3 [2] after posting a picture containing potentially offensive language referring to "ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief".

Balotelli was subsequently charged by the governing two weeks ago and the Italian has now accepted that charge verbally, requesting a non-personal hearing.

The 24-year-old will not be subject to an automatic five-match ban for using racist comments, as this only applies to on-pitch comments.

Former Milan striker Balotelli received criticism for the picture that contained video game character Super Mario and was posted on both his Instagram and Twitter pages.

The image was later taken down and Balotelli issued an apology for his actions, stating that the post was intended to be "anti-racist" and in good humour.