Mario Balotelli – FA Written ReasonsPosted on
The FA’s independent Regulatory Commission has today published their Written Reasons regarding their sanction of Liverpool FC player Mario Balotelli, for whom this firm acted, regarding a post on Instagram.
A copy of the Written Reasons appear here.
Mr Balotelli had accepted the charge and put forward mitigation which the FA prosecutors accepted was “forceful” and which the Commission described as “sincere and entirely honest”.
The Written Reasons explain that Mr Balotelli had re-posted the Image naively and did not realise at the time the offensive content within the Image. It was his intention to re-post an anti-racist message. The Commission accepted that “the image could, at first glance, be read as anti-racist”.
The FA’s rules on social media postings are strict liability. The Regulatory Commission is unlikely to hear a case with mitigation that is any more clear and honest than Mr Balotelli’s. Following the other recent decision in FA v Ferdinand (where Rio Ferdinand received a 3-match ban) the FA’s Regulatory Commission has sent a clear message. In all circumstances an aggravated breach of Rule E3 (abusive and/or improper messages which include a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality and/or religion or belief) will always result in a match ban of some length. The length of the ban will depend on the player’s conduct both before and after the posting.
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