Former Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has been handed a three-match European ban for hassling a referee, receiving a marching order and proceeding to launch a tirade against the official after Juventus were eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League by eventual winners Real Madrid.
UEFA disclosed in a statement had the Italian been sanctioned for receiving a direct red card and infringing stipulated general principles of conduct.
Meanwhile, Buffon left Juventus at the end of the season after 17 years at the club and is still in the process of deciding where to continue his footballing career, although he has been heavily linked with a move to Ligue 1 giants Paris St. Germain.
Buffon lost his cool after Real Madrid were awarded a supposedly controversial penalty by Michael Oliver in the dying minutes of the game at the Bernabeu after Benatia fouled Lucas Vazquez. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up and converted the penalty which saw Juve’s 3 goal cushion down to 3:1 enabling the Los Blancos to progress to the next stage with a 4:3 aggregate having won 3 nil away at Turin.
Later he lashed out at the referee insisting that he had been out of his depth and should have been in the stands eating crisps and also had a garbage bin for a heart. Buffon was heavily criticised for his behavior and outburst and later apologized.
“I stepped over the line and I am extremely disappointed. If I had seen him (the referee) two days later, I would have embraced him and asked for forgiveness,” he said.