Mario Balotelli’s career at Nice may be brought to an end more quickly than anticipated, with the striker seemingly facing a ban for using expletives in a rant about French referees.
Audio of the Italian’s complaint could be heard just off-camera as he vented his frustration in the wake of being booked for a clash with Bouna Sarr during Nice’s 2-1 loss to Marseille on Sunday.
Suggesting that he is being singled out by Ligue 1 officials, Balotelli said (in English): “Every time, fucking French referees, every time.”
Balotelli has amassed 13 yellow cards and one red during the course of this season.
The incident is of course similar to one in 2015, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic was caught on camera referring to France as a ‘shit country’.
The Swede apologised for his outburst but was still handed a four-match ban.
The implication here is that Balotelli – who is expected to move on in the summer transfer window – could face the same fate, although Nice have only two matches left to play.
Having revived his career somewhat since his move to Ligue 1, Balotelli has racked up 23 goals this season, though leaving Nice with a ban would sour what has been a largely positive experience for the 27-year-old.