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English Premiership

Balotelli could face Euro snub

ROME, Italy, April 9 – Coach Cesare Prandelli has admitted that talented but troubled striker Mario Balotelli could be excluded from the Italy squad following his sending off at the end of Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday.

City manager Roberto Mancini said afterwards he would not use the controversial 21-year-old again this season and would probably sell the Italian.

And Balotelli could also be left out of Italy’s Euro 2012 squad as Prandelli is a stickler for discipline.

“I will watch his sending off before deciding whether or not to apply the code of ethics for Balotelli,” said Prandelli.

The former Fiorentina coach has a no-tolerance policy towards ill discipline and has always excluded players if they are serving a club ban for violent conduct.

Italy have only two friendlies on May 29 and June 1 before they head to Poland for the European Championships.

Balotelli has courted much controversy since his move to England a little under two years ago.

He has been sent off four times and has twice been involved in a training ground bust-up with a team-mate while he allegedly also had a scrap with Yaya Toure at half-time during the 3-3 draw at home to Sunderland, although the Ivory Coast midfielder denied that.

Balotelli was in the news again last week after crashing his Bentley while Mancini jokingly said before the Arsenal game that he would have punched the son of Ghanaian immigrants had he been a team-mate of Balotelli.

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Balotelli was also in trouble earlier this season after he and some friends set off fireworks in his bathroom, causing severe damage to the property while in pre-season he was hauled off before half-time during a friendly in the United States because Mancini felt he wasn’t taking it seriously.

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