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Apr 10, 2012

Balotelli facing nine-match ban

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is set to receive a nine-match ban if he is charged by the Football Association for his tackle on Alex Song in Sunday's Premier League clash at Arsenal.

• Milner urges owners to remain patient
• Man City hopes hang by a thread
• Red-carded Balotelli says sorry
• Gotta: Balotelli a man for Milan

Balotelli, 21, will automatically serve a one-match ban for the red card he was shown after being twice booked for challenges on Bacary Sagna.

Football Association disciplinary rules also state that "players dismissed having previously in the same season been sent off (or suspended under the Standard Directions set out in Schedule A in these Regulations for an incident), will be suspended for one extra match for each such previous sending off or suspension, in addition to the automatic suspension applicable to the dismissal".

As seen earlier this season, Vincent Kompany received a four-game ban after being dismissed against Manchester United in the FA Cup as it was his second red of the season. The same punishment was handed out to Balotelli too when his standard three-game ban for the stamp on Tottenham's Scott Parker was upped to four due to a previous red.

Balotelli was sent off against Liverpool before the turn of the year and because of the ban for the incident with Parker, he will receive an additional two-match ban - leading to a three-game punishment for his red card at the Emirates.

If the striker is charged with violent conduct for his tackle on Song early in the game, that carries a mandatory three-match ban itself - taking him up to a six-game suspension.

Balotelli will then have a further three games added to the ban again due to his other red cards and suspensions - the Liverpool red, the Parker charge and the dismissal at Arsenal.

That means the Italian will potentially miss nine matches, ruling him out for the rest of this season and the first three games of next season - if he is still playing in the Premier League.

The red card at Arsenal contributes three of the games, and the charge for the stamp would constitute the other six. Of the nine games, five are due to the red card "totting up" rule.

With the other bans he has had this term that will equal a total suspension of 14 matches - over a third of a season.

• Follow Dale Johnson on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN

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