English soccer’s governing body charged Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli with violent conduct following an incident in the team’s 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur two days ago.
Balotelli, who had already been booked for a foul on Benoit Assou-Ekotto, appeared to strike Spurs midfielder Scott Parker on the head with his boot about 10 minutes before the end of the match at City’s Etihad Stadium.
Balotelli wasn’t punished by referee Howard Webb and went on to score the winning goal from the penalty spot four minutes into second-half stoppage time. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp told reporters the 21-year-old Italian of Ghanaian descent should have been red-carded.
“The first (stamp) could be an accident, but the second one? He’s back-heeled him straight in the head,” Redknapp said. “I don’t like people kicking people in the head on a football pitch.”
Balotelli faces a four-match suspension if found guilty having already been red-carded earlier this season, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported. He has until 6 p.m. U.K. time on Jan. 25 to respond to the charge, the F.A. said in a statement. An unsuccessful appeal could result in a longer suspension, the BBC said.
A four-match ban may rule him out of tomorrow’s Carling Cup semifinal second leg at Liverpool, where City needs to overcome a 1-0 deficit from the opening game to reach the final, and Premier League matches against Everton, Fulham and Aston Villa. City has a three-point lead atop the standings.
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