BBC Sport - Mario Balotelli: Abuse of striker 'criminal' says Clarke Carlisle

Balotelli abuse criminal - Carlisle

Former Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle says Twitter users who sent racist abuse to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli must face "strong action".

Merseyside police are investigating the abuse sent to Balotelli after he joked about Manchester United's 5-3 Premier League defeat by Leicester.

Ex-Burnley defender Carlisle told BBC Radio 5 live that sending such "shocking and deplorable" comments should be treated as "criminal behaviour".

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers did not speak about the issue at a news conference ahead of his side's Capital One Cup tie with Middlesbrough because of the police's involvement.