Mario Balotelli has escaped further sanction from the Football Association for his challenge on Alex Song during Manchester City's defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.

36804 - Mario Balotelli escapes further ban

The City striker was sent off for two bookable offences as Roberto Mancini's side were beaten 1-0 by the Gunners at Emirates Stadium.

The controversial striker was faced with the prospect of a nine-match ban if he was charged retrospectively for his first-half challenge on Song which went unpunished.

But the FA has confirmed action against the Italian will not be taken because it was not an off-the-ball incident and it did not go unnoticed by the match officials.

Due to previous transgressions, namely a red card against Liverpool before the turn of the year and a retrospective ban for a stamp on Tottenham's Scott Parker, Balotelli is set to serve a three-match ban for his red card at Emirates Stadium.

An FA statement read: "Retrospective action in relation to the incident involving Mario Balotelli of Manchester City and Alex Song of Arsenal, which occurred in the 20th minute of Sunday's game, will not be taken.

"Where at least one of the officials has seen the coming together of players retrospective action is not taken, regardless of whether they have seen the full extent of the challenge.

"Retrospective action can only be taken in scenarios where none of the Match Officials saw the players coming together. The normal scenarios in which retrospective action is taken are for 'off the ball' incidents.

"Retrospective action was introduced for off the ball incidents where there was no contest for possession and could not be deemed to be re-refereeing an incident. In agreement with FIFA, this is how 'not seen' incidents are dealt with retrospectively in England. It is a policy that is agreed with all football stakeholders."