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Balotelli charged over Parker incident

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has been charged with violent conduct by the FA and faces a four-match ban after appearing to stamp on Tottenham's Scott Parker during Sunday's 3-2 win at Eastlands.

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Balotelli, who had already received a yellow card, escaped sanction for treading on Parker's head and went on to score the 94th minute penalty that decided the game, prompting a furious reaction from Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, who felt Balotelli should not have been on the pitch to score the winner.

"I don't like people kicking other people in the head on a football pitch,'' Redknapp said after the game. "It is not something I understand. Why should he go and back-heel someone in the head when he is on the floor?''

Balotelli has until 18.00 GMT on Wednesday to respond to the FA charge. If he accepts the allegation, the 21-year-old will miss the Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Liverpool at Anfield.

However, should the Italy international decide to appeal he will be free to face the Merseyside giants, with a hearing taking place later this week.

An FA statement read: "The FA has today charged Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli with violent conduct following an incident in his side's home game against Tottenham Hotspur.

"Balotelli was involved in an incident with Tottenham's Scott Parker during Manchester City's 3-2 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 22 January 2012.

"Balotelli has until 6pm on Wednesday 25 January 2012 to respond to the charge.''

The FA have decided that City defender Joleon Lescott has no case to answer over a separate incident during the Premier League clash, when Spurs defender Younes Kaboul was caught in the face with an elbow.

Balotelli would be at risk of getting the suspension extended if he appealed as referee Howard Webb informed the FA that, had he seen the Italian's apparent stamp, he would have sent the City player off.

If he accepts the charge, Balotelli would also miss the Premier League trips to Everton and Aston Villa, plus the home encounter with Fulham on February 4.

It is the latest in a long line of disciplinary issues involving Balotelli since his arrival from Inter Milan at the beginning of last season, and for City during January.

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