Mario Balotelli banned for three matches after insulting official during AC Milan draw

Former Manchester City striker will miss crucial games against Napoli and leaders Juventus

Maverick forward Mario Balotelli was given a three-match ban today for insulting the fourth official at the end of AC Milan's 2-2 draw at Fiorentina at the weekend.

Balotelli was due to face an automatic one-match suspension for accumulating four yellow cards when he was needlessly booked for failing to retreat at a free kick.

But Serie A's disciplinary commissioner said in a statement he had added another two matches after Balotelli's angry altercation with the match official at the end of the game. It was not clear what had upset "Super Mario".

It was awful timing by Balotelli as third-placed Milan's next two games are against second-placed Napoli and leaders Juventus as they try to wrap up the third and final Champions League spot.

Balotelli had previously managed to stay out of trouble since his move from Manchester City in January.

But his problems began on Saturday as the team travelled by high-speed train to the game in Florence and he was caught smoking in the toilet by a ticket collector.

Milan officials were told and Balotelli was fined.

So far, his misdemeanours have paled in comparison to his antics at Manchester City which included rash tackles and a incident where his house was set fire after fireworks were let off in his bathroom.

Reuters

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