Mario Balotelli out for friendly

Updated: August 13, 2012, 10:50 AM ET
Associated Press

FLORENCE, Italy -- Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has pulled out of the Italy squad for Wednesday's friendly match against England and been replaced by Diego Fabbrini of Udinese.

Balotelli withdrew from the squad on Monday with conjunctivitis.

The 22-year-old Fabbrini is the ninth uncapped player called up for the friendly in Switzerland.

Fabbrini's inclusion is a continuation of coach Cesare Prandelli's focus on youth for the match ahead of Italy's first World Cup qualifier against Bulgaria on Sept. 7.

Italy beat England on penalties in the quarterfinals at the European Championship en route to the final, which it lost to Spain.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press