Although many expected the Liverpool striker to enter a not guilty plea, Liverpool have confirmed that Mario Balotelli will not contest the misconduct charge brought down on him by the FA after the striker posted a controversial image on social media.
The Instagram picture, which has overt racial and anti-Semitic overtones, was re-posted by the 24-year old in what he believed was an ironic anti-racist message. Balotelli, who has an adoptive mother that is Jewish and has been the subject of racist abuse on more than one instance, will accept the charge without requesting a personal hearing, but he will also be offering mitigation in the form of a written defence which could see the five match ban that hangs over his head reduced substantially.
The Liverpool man has never been accused of being particularly bright, and though that hardly matters under such serious circumstances, the blatantly sarcastic tone of the message could quite easily be misinterpreted as being both racist and anti-racist depending on point of view.
Regardless of what punishment, if any, the FA decides to take against Balotelli, the striker remains in contention to face Manchester United when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday as no decision will be made before then. The 24-year old, has been carrying a groin strain he picked up while training with Italy last month, has recovered in time to rejoin full training ahead of the crucial fixture. The United faithful had no love for the former Manchester City man before, and after his most recent escapade, substantial fuel will be added to the fire…