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Balotelli handed three-match ban

Milan, Italy (Sports Network) - AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli has been handed a three-match ban from Serie A play after verbally abusing a match official on Sunday.

Balotelli picked up a yellow card in the club's 2-2 draw with Fiorentina to earn an automatic one-match suspension, but Serie A confirmed Tuesday that the 22-year-old will miss two additional games for directing insults at one of the assistant referees.

The ban rules Balotelli out of the meetings with Napoli, Juventus and Catania, all of which are important matches in Milan's bid to secure automatic qualification for the Champions League. The club comes into the weekend in third place in Italy's top flight with 58 points.

04/09 13:42:18 ET

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