Soccer

Balotelli accepts two-week fine by Man City

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The Canadian Press
12/19/2012 9:00:02 AM
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MANCHESTER, England - Mario Balotelli accepted a two-week fine by Manchester City on Wednesday for repeated on-field misbehaviour last season, avoiding a legal case that could have jeopardized the Italy striker's future with the Premier League champions.

Balotelli was due to appeal against City's punishment at a Premier League tribunal in London after being handed a fine reported to be 340,000 pounds ($550,000) — or two weeks' wages.

However, City said the case was dropped following "amicable talks between parties."

"As a sign of respect for Roberto Mancini, the supporters and the club, Mario Balotelli has chosen to accept a two-week fine levied upon him by the club and withdraw his disciplinary appeal," a City statement said.

Balotelli missed a total of 11 games because of suspensions during the 2011-12 season, following sending-offs against Liverpool and Arsenal and retrospective punishment for stamping on Scott Parker in a game against Tottenham. He also had to serve a ban carried over from the 2010-11 season, when he was dismissed against Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League.

Balotelli's form this season has been disappointing. He has scored just one goal and was dropped from the squad for last Saturday's win at Newcastle as a result of his poor display the previous weekend against Manchester United.

The latest dispute with City fueled speculation Balotelli could leave the club in the January transfer window, with Mancini becoming increasingly exasperated with his countryman for wasting his talent.

"Mario remains available for selection for all forthcoming fixtures," City added in Wednesday's statement.

City was engaged in a lengthy stand-off with another volatile striker, Carlos Tevez, last season. The Argentina international went on unauthorized leave to his native country for three months, having fallen out with Mancini after refusing to come on as substitute during a Champions League match at Bayern Munich.

Mario Balotelli (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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