Football: AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli suspended for three games for insulting ref

TURIN (AFP) - AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has been suspended for three matches by the Italian league's disciplinary committee on Tuesday after insulting an assistant referee.

The Italy international was given a one-match ban after picking up a fourth yellow card in last Sunday's 2-2 draw against Fiorentina.

He was banned for a further two games after insulting a linesman at the end of the match, the league said in a statement.

Balotelli turned on the official who was watching the forward having an animated discussion with Fiorentina goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.

The suspension means he will miss Milan's next two big matches against Naples and league-leaders Juventus plus the encounter with Catania.

"Super Mario" has scored seven goals in eight games since his arrival from English Premier League club Manchester City in January.

His absence robs third-placed Milan of their first-choice striker as they seek to wrest second spot from Napoli.

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