Manchester City news

Balotelli agent wants Webb banned

January 24, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Mario Balotelli's agent has called for referee Howard Webb to be "banned for life" in the wake of the Football Association's decision to charge the Manchester City striker with violent conduct.

Mario Balotelli Scott Parker
GettyImagesMario Balotelli consoles Scott Parker after appearing to stamp on the midfielder

• City resigned to Balotelli ban

Balotelli, 21, faces a four-match suspension after appearing to stamp on midfielder Scott Parker during City's 3-2 Premier League win over Tottenham on Sunday.

Webb did not see the incident, but, having reviewed the footage of the challenge, the FA has responded by charging the Italy international with violent conduct.

Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, has been left furious with the decision, and has questioned Webb in an interview with Italian radio station Radio Radio.

He said: "The referee saw everything, because he spoke to Mario after the action. So in my opinion, this referee must be banned for life because he didn't tell the truth.

"The TV images show that he is really close to the action, how can he say he didn't see it? What was he doing? He says he didn't see it, only to defend himself."

Raiola also suggested Balotelli could seek a move away from England if he continues to feel persecuted against, adding: "Mario can't be banned for four games. He wasn't balanced and there was also a push from Modric.

"It is not an intentional foul because Mario doesn't want to hurt anyone, he didn't see Parker, that's all.

"I want to be balanced but I'm worried because when English players are involved in more serious things, nothing happens, whereas when foreigners are involved, such as Balotelli or Kompany, they were treated harder.

"If I find that there is something strange against Balotelli, my duty is to protect and then take him away.

"In this case I would speak with City, I'd ask them Balotelli's price and would look for the best team for him, as there are only six or seven teams he can play for.

"I talked to Mario who said he is happy to stay in England, but he does not understand certain things and they sadden him."