Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said that Mario Balotelli was still in the frame for a UEFA EURO 2012 berth, despite having dropped the forward twice because of his disciplinary record at Man City.
"In my mind, Balo is a full member of the team but he has to show at the moment that he has ability to control his personality," Prandelli told reporters.
In national teams, "rules have to be observed and behaviour respected," said the coach, who has put in place a "code of ethics" for players that has sparked a wide debate across Italy. Daniele De Rossi and Pablo Osvaldo have also already been dropped after being sent off for violent conduct on the pitch.
Not picking Balotelli "is one method" of imposing discipline, said Prandelli. "I only know one way of taking a group forward and that's like running a family," he added. "How do you do it with children? You have to have rules, otherwise it all becomes difficult.
"Mario knows our rules, there's no need to repeat them and it's tiring to have to keep coming back to it."
Asked how he would treat Balotelli if he were his son, Prandelli joked: "I think of all the players as sons."
Balotelli was dropped twice from the Italy squad after he received a red card in the UEFA Europa League match against Dynamo Kiev last year and after his four-match suspension in February for stamping on an opponent against Queens Park Rangers.
Other than Balotelli, Prandelli said he expected to see the return of first-choice strikers Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi from injury by May.