AC Milan's assistant coach Mauro Tassotti has refused to defend Mario Balotelli after the controversial striker was given a red card for misconduct against an opponent in Milan's 2-1 defeat against Napoli.

After missing his first ever penalty in an official game, Balotelli was dismissed after the final whistle for using insulting language towards referee Luca Banti.

The 23-year-old Italy international addressed the referee with insulting and intimidating expressions as well as protesting against the match officials.

AC Milan will not file an appeal against Balotelli's three-match ban for his red card. The Italian giants feel there is little chance of it being successfully overturned and assistant coach Tassotti was openly critical of the former Manchester City player.

"I was there at the meeting with the referees where the captains were also there and the outcome was that the players have to be more educated when they come to confronting the referee," Tassotti told Milan Channel.

"You can ask them a question, but you cannot go too far and in this case Mario probably overstepped the mark and was in the wrong."

The 53-year-old admitted he did not see what happened but that Balotelli and the club will have to face the consequences of the fiery forward's actions. 

"I don’t know exactly what happened because I had headed down to the dressing room. We have to accept what happened and take the outcome as it stands," Tassotti said. 

Balotelli's suspension comes as a further blow for the AC Milan with the likes of Kaka, Riccardo Montolivo and Stephan El Shaarawy already sidelined by injury.

The 23-year-old will now serve a three-match domestic ban that will see him miss games against Bologna, Sampdoria and Juventus.

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