Balotelli charged

Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli looks dejected as he trudges off the field

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has been officially been charged by the FA for violent conduct after appearing to stamp on Tottenham Hotspur player Scott Parker.

The incident angered Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, who saw his side eventually go down 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium through a late Balotelli penalty.

“It is not the first time he has done that and I am sure it won’t be the last,” Redknapp said.

“I have got my own opinions but I don’t like people kicking other people in the head on football pitches. I don’t think it’s wrong to say that.

“Why you should back heel someone in the head when they are lying on the floor is beyond me. It is not a nice thing to do.

“He reacts to challenges like that at times. Scott has got a cut on his head,” Redknapp concluded.

The Italian international striker faces a four-match suspension, the one additional game due to having been sent off earlier in the season at Liverpool. Should he be found guilty and appeal, he could be slapped with a longer suspension if his appeal is unsuccessful.

If he pleads guilty, he will miss Wednesday’s Carling Cup semifinal second leg against Liverpool at Anfield. However, should he decide to appeal, he will be available for the tie, with a hearing likely to take place later this week.

He has until 18h00 GMT on Wednesday to respond to the charges brought against him.

City, though, are lucky to only have Balotelli charged, as defender Joelen Lescott caught Younes Kaboul in the face with his forearm in a separate incident. However, Lescott will not be punished for the incident.

Balotelli was a 69th minute substitute against Spurs. He was booked for a foul on Benoit Assou-Ekotto, but escaped punishment from referee Howard Webb following his clash with Parker.

The 21-year-old Balotelli, who was signed from Inter Milan in the summer of 2010, has been involved in a number of on- and off-the-field controversies.

He has been sent off three times, was unable to continue after suffering an allergy to the grass in Kiev, threw a dart at a reserve team player and escaped injury after a firework was let off in his house.