Mario Balotelli told to be ‘polite to referees’

Mario Balotelli was given a ticking off by AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri yesterday after the club decided not to appeal against a three-match ban for his sending-off on Sunday.

“Mario is 23 years old, he is no longer a child,” Allegri said of Balotelli’s dismissal for insulting the referee at the end of the 2-1 home defeat by Napoli.

“To be a champion you have to have the right behaviour 
because you are an example to all those who are watching you.

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“Mario has made a mistake, penalising the team, the club and the supporters and he must change this behaviour.”

Allegri added that referees were becoming reluctant to give free kicks to Balotelli because of his attitude. “Mario should help the referees to protect him,” he added. “The referees have left him because they can be influenced by negative attitudes.”

The maverick forward has been relatively well-behaved since joining Milan from Manchester City in January, although he was also sent off against Fiorentina in April, again for 
arguing with a referee.

“I hope that he realises he put the team in difficulty,” said Allegri. “When the game ends, you should leave the field, possibly greeting the referee politely.”