Prandelli not dropping Balotelli from Italian squad

The national team coach has shrugged off speculation suggesting that the Milan star could be dropped from the Azzurri in light of his domestic suspension.
Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has dismissed the notion that Mario Balotelli's domestic ban could see him be omitted for this month's World Cup 2014 qualifiers against Denmark and Armenia.

The AC Milan striker is 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 serving suspensions for breaching the code of ethics, but the coach believes the marksman has already paid the penalty for his behavior.

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, which has already booked its place in Brazil next summer, travels to Denmark on Oct. 10 before hosting Armenia in its final fixture of the campaign five days later.