Balotelli says sorry for red card

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has apologised for his red card at Arsenal on Sunday and says he should not be punished by Cesare Prandelli.


The 21-year-old was sent off in the dying seconds of Easter Sunday's 1-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium for clattering into Bacary Sagna, after earlier getting away with a knee-high challenge on Gunners midfielder Alex Song.

The loss dealt what could prove a fatal blow to City's Premier League title hopes but could also have been Balotelli's final appearance for the club, with manager Roberto Mancini admitting he would "probably" sell the former Inter Milan man this summer.

However, Balotelli, who was dropped by Italy coach Cesare Prandelli for February's friendly against the United States after being hit with a domestic ban for stamping on Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker, issued a statement in a bid to take the sting out of the situation.

"I'm really sorry for what happened and for the disappointment I've caused Manchester City, and particularly to Roberto Mancini, whom I respect and whom I love," the player said in a statement provided by his agent Mini Raiola to Italy's ANSA news agency.

"I would like very much to play for the national team, but I committed two fouls - they were not reaction fouls. I have not broken [Prandelli's] code of ethics.

"I have already missed out on the national team for one stupid thing - I will not do it a second time. Regarding my future, we will see at the end of the season. I will talk with the club and we'll see."

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