Red cards could prevent Balotelli from rejoining Italy squad

Nice's forward Mario Balotelli gestures during the Europa League group I match between OGC Nice and FC Salzburg, in Nice stadium, southeastern France, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. (Claude Paris/AP)

FLORENCE, Italy — Mario Balotelli’s chances of returning to Italy’s national team have not been helped by three red cards in the French league.

Italy team manager Gabriele Oriali reminded reporters Tuesday of the squad’s code of ethics.

Oriali says "there are a few clear rules that must be respected, and then there are the rules that clubs have. For Mario, as has already been said, his possibility of returning here depends on him."

Balotelli has scored nine goals for Nice but on Saturday was sent off again for an altercation with Lorient defender Zargo Toure.

Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura had said he would talk to Balotelli about the possibility of joining the team before the Azzurri’s matches next month.

Balotelli has not played for Italy since the 2014 World Cup.

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