London: Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is staring at an elongated ban which might see him sit out for nine games after the Football Association (FA) revealed it is deciding whether to punish his studs-up tackle on Arsenal`s Alex Song, which referee Martin Atkinson missed.
The Italian footballer was sent off during a Premier League match Sunday against the North Londoners for two bookable offences but earlier should have received a straight red for a dangerous tackle on Cameroonian Song.
If the FAs decide to punish Balotelli, that would mean the Italian`s fourth red card of the season. He already misses one game for the sending off Sunday and an extra two because it was his third red of the season.
He could be banned for a further three games for the Song tackle and then for another three because that would count as his fourth red.
City manager, Roberto Mancini was furious at Balotelli and hinted that the player could be sold in the summer.
The 21-year-old striker has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since joining the Manchester club in August 2010.