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Milan lodge appeal over Balotelli ban

AC Milan have appealed the three-match ban meted out to striker Mario Balotelli for insulting a match official in the draw with Fiorentina on Sunday.

• Paul: Balotelli ban must spark El Shaarawy

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.

Balotelli is set to miss Milan's crunch matches against Napoli and Juventus as well as the visit of Catania. The Italy striker has scored ten goals in 11 games for club and country in 2013.

But Milan announced their intention to appeal on Tuesday saying in a statement: "AC Milan would like to communicate that it will appeal against the three-match suspension handed out to Mario Balotelli.''

Milan currently sit third, four points behind Napoli in the fight for second place and direct Champions League qualification. Juventus have a nine-point lead at the top.

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

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