CONTROVERSIAL Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli was last night at the centre of a storm after a posting on social media led to accusations of racism and antisemitism.
The 24-year-old reposted an image of Nintendo character Super Mario on Instagram, which contained phrases such as “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew”.
Balotelli deleted the post and took to Twitter to protest his innocence and deny making any offensive reference towards Judaism. “My Mom is Jewish so all of u shut up please,” he said, before describing the incident as “my unlucky moment” in a later tweet.
The Football Association is likely to open a disciplinary case against the Italian, with the incident coming just days after the governing body charged Wigan chairman Dave Whelan over comments made about Jewish and Chinese people in an interview.
Balotelli has endured an indifferent period since Liverpool splashed out £16m to bring the former Manchester City forward back to English football from Italian giants AC Milan in the summer.
He is yet to score a Premier League goal since making his debut against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in August, having found the net just twice in all competitions, and will be sidelined for the Anfield club’s clash with Leicester City tonight due to a groin injury.