October 28, 2019 / 5:43 PM / a month ago

Ribery banned three matches for pushing linesman

Soccer Football - Serie A - Fiorentina v Juventus - Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy - September 14, 2019 Fiorentina's Franck Ribery looks on REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

MILAN (Reuters) - Fiorentina’s veteran forward Franck Ribery has been suspended for three matches by Serie A’s disciplinary tribunal for pushing a linesman following his side’s 2-1 home defeat by Lazio on Sunday.

Video footage showed the 36-year-old, who had been substituted in the 74th minute, remonstrating with match officials after the final whistle as Fiorentina protested about Lazio’s winning goal. He then pushed one of the linesman before being restrained by team mates and was shown the red card.

Describing Ribery’s conduct as “seriously disrespectful”, Serie A’s disciplinary tribunal said on Monday that Ribery had approached the linesman with “threatening behaviour” and pushed him twice.

Earlier, Ribery — who was also fined 20,000 euros ($22,196) — apologised on Twitter for his behaviour, saying that he was “agitated” after the controversial finish.

Fiorentina asserted that the move which led to Lazio’s 89th-minute goal began with a foul by Jordan Lukaku on Riccardo Sotil and were baffled as to why the referee did not review the incident on the pitchside monitor — instead relying on a silent check by the VAR official.

Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Clare Fallon

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