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Mario Balotelli gets 3-match ban

AC Milan on Tuesday appealed Mario Balotelli's three-game Serie A ban awarded because the striker directed a volley of abuse at a match official against Fiorentina on Sunday.

Balotelli was already automatically suspended for one match after picking up his fourth booking of the season in the 2-2 draw.

However, another two matches were added to his ban on Tuesday for insulting one of the assistant referees at the end of the game.

AC Milan said on the club's website that it would appeal the ban.

Balotelli will miss Milan's crunch matches against Napoli and Juventus as well as the visit of Catania.

The Italy striker has scored 10 goals in 11 games for club and country in 2013.

Milan is third, four points behind Napoli in the fight for second place and a direct Champions League berth.

Juventus has a nine-point lead.

Chief executive Adriano Galliani told Gazzetta dello Sport that Balotelli is also facing a club fine for smoking in the toilets on the train to the match.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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