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Monday, September 23, 2013
AC Milan striker Balotelli handed 3-match ban

Associated Press

MILAN -- AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli has been banned for three matches following a confrontation with the referee after a loss to Napoli.

Balotelli was shown a second yellow card Sunday after the final whistle for his protests. Balotelli scored and missed a penalty in Milan's 2-1 loss. The Italy striker will miss the next three matches for making "insulting and intimidating comments" toward the referee.

Milan may appeal the sentence.

Milan will have its main fan sections closed for the next home game against Sampdoria as punishment for racist chanting during the loss to Napoli.

In February, Balotelli was subjected to racial taunts by fans of his former club Manchester City. He kept his composure and held a finger to his mouth to signal for quiet. Inter supporters waved inflated bananas and whistled at Balotelli, who is a native of Ghana.