Nintendo's Super Mario has been dragged into a bit of row started by Liverpool's Super Mario.
The Guardian reports that former Manchester City and current Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli has found himself at the centre of a Football Association investigation after posting an image of the Nintendo mascot complete with a racist joke online.
Don't be racist! Be like Mario,” it said. He's an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican… jumps like a black man and grabs coins like a Jew.”
The footballer subsequently deleted the image from Instagram and posted an apology to Twitter.
I apologise if I've offended anyone,” it said. The post was meant to be anti-racist with humour. I now understand that out of context may have the opposite effect. Not all Mexicans have moustache, not all black people jump high and not all Jewish people love money. I used the cartoon done by someone else because it was Super Mario and I thought it was funny and not offensive. Again, I'm sorry.”
It is understood that parent club Liverpool will have words with the player while the FA is pondering accusations that he has bought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race”.