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 By Ian Holyman

Mario Balotelli has red card vs. Lorient rescinded, can play in next match

Mario Balotelli's first red card in French football was rescinded on Thursday, allowing the in-form Nice striker to play in his club's Ligue 1 game against Lyon after the international break.

Shortly after scoring the winner in Nice's 2-1 defeat of Lorient on Sunday, Balotelli, 26, was sent off by referee Olivier Thual for a second bookable offence.

The deadline-day signing from Liverpool was cautioned for appearing to have pushed his head into that of Lorient full-back Steven Moreira during added time of the match at Nice's Allianz Riviera.

Mario Balotelli reacts after being sent off in Nice's 2-1 win against Lorient.
Mario Balotelli was sent off shortly after scoring in Nice's 2-1 defeat of Lorient on Sunday.

TV replays showed Balotelli, who has scored five times in three league games, did not make contact with Moreira, and the French Football League's (LFP) Disciplinary Commission has now removed the yellow cards shown to both men for the incident.

"After reading the referee's report and looking at the TV pictures, the Commission has decided to annul the second yellow card attributed to Mario Balotelli," read a statement on the LFP's official website.

Thual admitted earlier this week he had made an error in dismissing Balotelli, whose first yellow card was for removing his shirt after scoring.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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