Mario Balotelli had a mixed afternoon playing against Lorient last weekend. He scored a fantastic goal to put Nice at the top of the table but was later given a red card and sent off.
The Italian international fired into the top corner with a curling shot from the edge of the box with just four minutes left of the game. However, he was then booked for his celebration as he removed his shirt following the game’s decisive moment.
Two minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game he was shown a second yellow card after a seemingly innocuous clash with a defender on the left touchline. As a result he faces a suspension when the team return to action after the international break.
However, there are now reports that the red card may be rescinded on Thursday as the referee has admitted to making a mistake.
Pascal Garibian, the technical director of refereeing, said that the referee Olivier Thual has watched the match and agreed that the “two yellow cards were rushed and shouldn’t have been given”. He went on to say that the referee is available to the disciplinary committee to say the same thing on record.
If he says as much to the committee then it will be up to them whether or not to rescind the card. However, it seems extremely likely that the second yellow card for Balotelli will be cancelled as neither Balotelli or the defender Steven Moreira appeared to do anything wrong in their clash.
Despite Balotelli’s excellent form in Ligue 1 there is still no place for him in the Italy squad after coach Gian Piero Ventura named a largely unchanged 26 man group for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Macedonia.