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FA rejects Mario Balotelli red card appeal

Mario Balotelli and Roberto Mancini
Balotelli, 20, and Mancini worked together at Inter Milan in their native Italy

Manchester City's Mario Balotelli will miss three matches after the Football Association rejected the club's appeal against his sending-off at West Brom.

The Italian international was shown a straight red card for seemingly kicking Youssuf Mulumbu during City's 2-0 win.

Balotelli, 20, will be banned for the Manchester derby on Wednesday, the visit of Birmingham on Saturday and a trip to Fulham the following Sunday.

He had scored twice and picked up a yellow card before his dismissal.

An FA statement said: "At a Regulatory Commission hearing today, a claim that the standard punishment is clearly excessive from Manchester City's Mario Balotelli was dismissed.

Man City Shaun

"As a result, Balotelli will serve a three match suspension with immediate effect."

City will be disappointed to lose Balotelli just when he was starting to show why manager Roberto Mancini shelled out a reported £24m for his services.

His two goals against the Baggies were his first in the Premier League after two months out with a knee injury and City fans will have been encouraged by his understanding with Carlos Tevez and David Silva.

But, in swinging a leg at Youssuf Mulumbu minutes after getting a yellow for a tangling with Marek Cech, he lived up to the controversial reputation he developed while playing for Inter Milan.

Mancini, who managed Balotelli at the Italian club, felt the sending-off was harsh.

We will appeal against Balotelli red card - Mancini

"I absolutely do not agree with the referee about this sending-off," he said after the game. "A red card for what?"

The Italian added: "He played a fantastic game, he scored two goals, but the sending off was very strange.

"I want to know why it was a direct red card. For me this is not correct and the referee must explain.

"I am angry because I explained to [Balotelli] before the game, pay attention with the referee. I wanted to change Adam Johnson for Mario but I didn't have time to make the change."

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see also
West Brom 0-2 Man City
07 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Sunday football as it happened
07 Nov 10 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
07 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Lech Poznan 3-1 Man City
04 Nov 10 |  Europe
Mancini defends Balotelli's reputation
17 Aug 10 |  Man City

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