Balotelli to serve four-match ban for stamp after City decide not to appeal
Mario Balotelli will serve his four-match ban after Manchester City opted not to appeal against his suspension.
The controversial Italian striker appeared to stamp on Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker's head during Sunday's 3-2 win at the Etihad Stadium – before his last-minute penalty winner kept City three points clear of the Barclays Premier League.
manager David Platt had suggested an appeal would be 'futile' and Balotelli will miss games against Liverpool, Everton, Fulham and Aston Villa.
Threat: Mario Balotelli, who faces a potential four-match ban, trains ahead of City's Carling Cup semi-final clash with Liverpool
Whilst City do have
grievances over the manner in which Balotelli's alleged stamp on Scott
Parker has been dealt with, Platt accepted the slow-motion pictures 'do
not look good'.
'We are likely to be without a player for four games,' said Platt on Tuesday.
'We found out the information last night and we have not sat down as a group to discuss it.
Plenty to ponder: Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini with Balotelli at the club's Carrington training HQ
'But I don't think anybody thought we would win an appeal with Vincent Kompany, even though the majority of people didn't feel he deserved a red card or a four-match ban. It shows the futility of an appeal sometimes.
'This looks poor when you slow it down.'
City skipper Vincent Kompany is still
banned after receiving the same punishment a fortnight ago for his
second red card of the season.
Stamp it out: Balotelli clashes with Parker and later scored the winner
What annoys City is that they believe referee Howard Webb got a good enough view of it at the time to reach a decision, opted to do nothing, but then allowed the FA to take control.
In the spotlight: Mario Balotelli leaves training on Monday afternoon
'It seems inconsistent,' said Platt.
'I have seen it from an angle where I can think the referee saw it live, like I did.
'Other people saw it live and didn't react, nobody, not one of the Tottenham players or staff. The referee didn't react live. It is when you slow it down that all the reactions come.
'I don't know what has gone on but there seems a huge inconsistency in refereeing matches on a Monday morning.
'Shouldn't you revisit everything that has happened over the weekend'
Flashpoint: Balotelli stumbles backwards over Parker…
…. his foot connects with the Spurs midfielder's head…
…and then appears to stamp down with some force
The charge came from the Football
Association after referee Howard Webb indicated he would have shown a
straight red had he seen the incident.
With Parker on the floor after
blocking Balotelli’s shot, the City player caught his opponent in the
face with his left leg and then appeared to bring his right foot down on
the midfielder’s head.