Balotelli apologizes and says he was provoked

MILANO:  Maverick AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli has apologized for a sending-off against Napoli which earned him a three-match ban but claimed he was provoked.

Balotelli was dismissed for arguing with the referee at the end of Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat and suspended the following day.

“I apologize to my team mates, who train hard every day. I also apologize to the referee,” he said in an interview with Sky Sports Italia. “I reacted the wrong way to provocation.”

“Mario has made a mistake,” he added. “He has been provoked and made a mistake in reacting.”

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