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Italian legend Buffon slapped with three-match European ban over referee rant

The veteran goalkeeper said English referee Michael Oliver had a ‘rubbish bin for a heart’ after Juventus lost out to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final.

Buffon protests to Oliver.
Buffon protests to Oliver.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

OUTGOING JUVENTUS GOALKEEPER Gianluigi Buffon has been banned for three European matches for his red card and comments about referee Michael Oliver after the Italian side’s dramatic Champions League quarter-final loss to Real Madrid last month.

The 40-year-old had been charged both with breaching Uefa’s “general principles of conduct” over his outburst and also for his red card for dissent.

European football’s governing body announced Tuesday that Buffon was suspended for “three Uefa competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible”.

The last-eight clash between holders Real and Juventus was decided by a last-gasp Cristiano Ronaldo penalty after the Serie A champions had staged a remarkable comeback to wipe out a 3-0 first-leg deficit at the Santiago Bernabeu.

But Buffon, who was sent off in the aftermath of the penalty decision, lashed out at Oliver’s decision to award the spot-kick, saying the English official had a “rubbish bin for a heart”.

The 2006 World Cup winner, who did not renew his contract with Juventus, could however be playing for Paris Saint-Germain next season.

He said on Monday he needed a week before making a decision on whether to head to the French capital or not.

© – AFP 2018

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