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Prandelli: I will not drop Balotelli

The 56-year-old coach has shrugged off speculation suggesting that the Milan star could be dropped for the Azzurri in light of his three-game suspension for insulting an official

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has dismissed the notion that Mario Balotelli's domestic ban could see him be omitted for October's World Cup 2014 qualifiers with Denmark and Armenia this month.

The AC Milan striker is currently serving a three-match ban for a sending off in Serie A, prompting speculation that his actions could have further implications on his selection for the Azzurri.

Prandelli has previously dropped players who had been handed suspensions for breaching the code of ethics, but the coach believes the marksman has already paid the penalty for his behaviour.

The 56-year-old told TG1: "Balotelli sat out his ban and paid for his actions, so not calling him for Italy would be adding to the punishment which he has already served."

Italy, who have already booked their place in Brazil next summer, travel to Denmark on October 10, before hosting Armenia in their final fixture of the campaign five days later.

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