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City likely to accept Balotelli ban

SUSPENDED: Balotelli

MANCHESTER CITY coach David Platt has hinted that the club will ‘reluctantly accept’ the FA’s decision to charge Mario Balotelli for violent conduct.

Balotelli appeared to stamp on Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker during City’s 3-2 win at the Etihad on Sunday (January 22).

Referee Howard Webb, however, claims he did not see the incident and Balotelli went on to score a stoppage time penalty after being hauled down in the area by Ledley King.

Platt admitted that ‘we are likely to be without a player for four games’, implying that the league leaders will not challenge the charge.

Violent conduct usually carries a three-match ban but as the striker has already been sent off in a league match at Liverpool in November, he would be given an additional one-game suspension.

If City were to appeal and this was unsuccessful, Balotelli could face an even longer suspension.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp described the incident as a ‘blatant foul’ but Platt hit out at both Webb and the FA for the way they have dealt with the matter:

“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. When you slow it down that's where 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?"

Balotelli has until 18.00 GMT on Wednesday (January 25) to respond to the charge. If he accepts it then he will miss the team’s Carling Cup semi-final second leg tie against Liverpool at Anfield but if he opts to appeal, he will be available for selection and a hearing is likely to place later this week.

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