Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (l) with Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli reportedly phoned Cesare Prandelli to apologize after his latest discipline violation for Manchester City, but the Italy coach apparently wants the 21-year-old striker to say sorry publicly.
If Balotelli doesn’t offer a public apology and start behaving better, Prandelli could leave him out of Italy’s European Championship squad as part of his new code of ethics.
Balotelli called Prandelli after being sent off during City’s 1-0 loss at Arsenal on Sunday, his fourth red card in two seasons with the English club.
Balotelli reportedly acknowledged to Prandelli that he made a really big mistake but told the coach to watch the videos because he didn’t think the fouls were excessive, according to the ANSA news agency.
Balotelli also received a four-match suspension from the Premier League in January after his stamp on Tottenham’s Scott Parker was missed by the referee, prompting Prandelli to leave him out of the squad for the friendly against the United States in February.
“I’ll evaluate from the videos of the sending off whether or not to apply the code of ethics for Balotelli,” Prandelli said Monday.
Besides Balotelli, midfielder, Daniele De Rossi and Argentine-born forward, Pablo Osvaldo have also missed matches with Italy for disciplinary reasons since Prandelli introduced his code upon taking the Italy job in 2010.
Prandelli has scheduled a two-day training camp for Italy in two weeks, and it is unclear if he wants Balotelli to apologize at a news conference then or say sorry publicly beforehand.
Against Arsenal, Balotelli saw red in the 90th minute when he was booked for lunging at Bacary Sagna’s knee, three minutes after Mikel Arteta had scored for Arsenal in a 1-0 victory.
After the match, City manager Roberto Mancini said he “was finished” with Balotelli.
“I’m very sorry for him because he is losing his talent and his quality,” Mancini said. “He is in a bad way for his future, and he needs to change his behaviour.”
Earlier this season, Balotelli had to come up with an explanation for English authorities after a fire broke out in his house when fireworks were let off in his bathroom.
In March 2011, it emerged that Balotelli threw a dart at a City youth-team player. No one was hurt in the incident and he escaped punishment.