Footballer Mario Balotelli has apologised after posting a picture on Instagram that made a number of references to racial stereotypes.
The picture, which bore the logo of humour website The LAD Bible, showed the computer game character Super Mario - a nickname that Balotelli shares - with the slogan "Don't be racist! Be like Mario". It included the statement: "jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew".
On Facebook this morning, the Liverpool forward made an apology saying the post was "meant to be anti-racist with humour" and acknowledged that "not all Mexicans have moustache, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money".
The LAD bible also disowned the image, tweeting:
After posting the photo, Balotelli initially took to Twitter to defend himself against the backlash, explaining that his mum is Jewish.
Balotelli, who was born Mario Barwuah to Ghanaian parents, was fostered by an Italian couple when he was three and took on their surname. When visiting Auschwitz in 2012 with the Italian national team he revealed that his foster mother, Silvia, was Jewish and that her parents had survived the Holocaust.
The Football Association has said it will be investigating while a club spokesperson told the BBC they will be speaking to the player about the now deleted post...