The Italy international posted an image of Super Mario along with a caption referencing black people and Jewish culture, and has since apologised
The Football Association will investigate Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli after he posted on his Instagram a message that was deemed to be racist and anti-Semitic.
The Italy international posted an image of video game character Super Mario accompanied with a caption that referenced black people and Jewish culture before swiftly deleting it.
But the FA have been alerted to the message and will investigate as to whether it breaches their social media rules.
Liverpool have admitted they will be speaking to the player regarding the issue, while Balotelli has taken to Twitter to apologise over his actions.
“I apologise if I’ve offended anyone. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour,” he wrote.
“I now understand that out of context [it] may have the opposite effect.
“Not all Mexicans have [a] moustache, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money.
“I used a cartoon done by someone else because it has Super Mario and I thought it was funny and not offensive. Again, I’m sorry.”
If found guilty of posting racist comments, the former Manchester City forward could face a fine and a ban despite his apology.
QPR defender Rio Ferdinand was banned earlier in the season for three matches following a post on his Twitter, though it is understood there were no racial connotations in his message.
Balotelli has previously been the victim of racist abuse via social media, most recently when mocking Manchester United’s defeat to Leicester City in September.