What on earth did Mario Balotelli say to earn him a straight red card?
It should be pointed out, at the very start of this article, that it's been written immediately after Balotelli was sent off for Nice against Lorient on Saturday night so more information about his red card ought to become apparent after the final whistle.
The controversial forward must have uttered something awful to the referee in charge of the game because the foul that led to the free kick was so very innocuous that it wouldn't have warranted even a yellow in any match official's estimation.
Mario #Balotelli given a straight red just for backing into a defender. Strange really... pic.twitter.com/EaWg4cNEYl— Phil Coutinho (@LfcNo10) February 18, 2017
Balotelli was holding off Lorient midfielder Zargo Toure during the Ligue 1 meeting when the referee blew for a free. That all seemed fair enough.
But as Balotelli made his way away from the utterly unremarkable incident, he clearly mouthed something in the direction of the official.
A red card was flashed in the direction of the former Manchester City and Liverpool striker, whose lack of reaction would lead you to believe that there was some justification for the sending off.
However that didn't do anything to stop the confusion online about Balotelli's third red of the season.
Mario Balotelli awarded another bullshit undeserved red card this season. FIFA needs to look into this unfair treatment #Disgrace— Daniel Baldino (@danny_b67) February 18, 2017
Mario Balotelli's Ligue 1 season by numbers so far:— AccaTracker App (@AccaTrackerTM) February 19, 2017
4 yellow cards
3 red cards pic.twitter.com/Evu8kcQC9B
Mario Balotelli's red card, having viewed the incident & interaction with the referee multiple times, can only be described as bizarre.— Get French Football (@GFFN) February 18, 2017
Referee Tony Chapron on the Mario Balotelli red card: "He insulted me in English. I won't go into detail, but it was the usual." (L'Équipe)— Get French Football (@GFFN) February 19, 2017