LONDON: Mario Balotelli has been suspended for one game by the Football Association as punishment for his ‘Super Mario’ post on social media.

Liverpool’s Italy striker, whose suspension comes into effect immediately, has also been fined £25,000 and must attend an education course.

The 24-year-old was charged under FA rule E3(1) for a post which appeared to contain anti-Semitic and racist references.

A Liverpool spokesman said: “The club acknowledges the decision reached by the FA independent panel and due consideration will be given to the written judgement once we receive it from the FA.

“Any further action taken by ourselves in relation to this matter is between the club and player.”

Balotelli had accepted the charge but wrote to the FA in mitigation. The former Manchester City forward had re-posted an image of computer game character Super Mario on Instagram which included the words “jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.”

He later tweeted to deny the post was offensive, before apologising.

Balotelli returned to the Liverpool squad for Sunday’s defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford after six games out with a groin problem.

But he was not involved in Wednesday’s League Cup win at Bournemouth.

He has scored two goals in his 15 appearances for the club since signing from AC Milan in the summer.