Balotelli hit with FA charge over controversial post

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been charged by the Football Association (FA) over a controversial post on social media.

The governing body confirmed that the Italian has been adjudged 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 criticised for posting the picture, which featured video game character Super Mario and was posted on both his Instagram and Twitter pages.

The 24-year-old later removed the image and apologised for his actions, insisting that the post was intended to be "anti-racist" with humour.

But, after Balotelli's post was also found to be "abusive and/or insulting and/or improper", the former Milan man now looks set to receive a hefty sanction from the FA.

He has until 18.00 (BST) on December 15 to respond to the charge.