Nice’s Italian forward Mario Balotelli leaves the pitch after receiving a red card.
VALERY HACHE / AFP
Mario Balotelli was handed a two-match ban Thursday after being sent off for an off-the-ball incident in last month’s 0-0 draw at Bordeaux, his club Nice said.
The Italian striker and team-mate Younes Belhanda — who was given a one-match ban — were dismissed in the dying seconds as Bordeaux frustrated the Ligue 1 leaders before the winter break.
Balotelli was given his marching orders for lashing out at Bordeaux defender Igor Lewczuk.
“It is a logical decision,” Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere, flanked by Balotelli and Belhanda, said after a disciplinary hearing in Paris.
The colourful Balotelli, who has had numerous run-ins with officials in the Premier League and in Italy, will miss the French Cup against Lorient on Sunday and the visit of Metz in the league on January 15.
Influential playmaker Belhanda was sidelined anyway with a toe injury.