Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out has expressed its "shock" at the decision to book Mario Balotelli for complaining about alleged racist abuse in a Ligue 1 game over the weekend.
The former Manchester City , Liverpool and Italy striker was shown a yellow card by referee Nicolas Rainville in the second half of his club Nice's match against Dijon on Saturday night after he tried to draw the official's attention to the conduct of home fans.
"Kick It Out was shocked to see Mario Balotelli booked for bringing to the attention of the referee alleged racist chanting directed towards him by Dijon supporters," its statement read.
"It is unacceptable and wrong to see that once again, a match official has failed to apply the UEFA protocol - in place for a number of years - which requires action to be taken to stop the game to deal with the offending abuse.
"Although Kick It Out's remit is within English football , the organisation has contacted anti-discrimination network Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) to see what actions they will be taking in raising this with Ligue 1 officials.
"The organisation expects a strong response from the French football authorities in condemning both the alleged racist chanting from Dijon supporters and the failure of the referee to follow protocol to halt the behaviour, as well as the decision to compound Balotelli's experience as a victim by booking him for merely asking the match official to do his job."