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Football Briefs: Buffon banned for three matches after referee comments

Last updated on: June 05, 2018 17:45 IST

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Gianluigi Buffon

IMAGE: Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon with fans before the match. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

UEFA has banned goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for three matches for comments he made about the referee after Juventus lost in the Champions League quarter-finals in April, European soccer's governing body said on Tuesday.

Buffon was enraged by English referee Michael Oliver's decision to award Real Madrid a stoppage-time penalty during the second leg at the Bernabeu and lost control, screaming at and jostling the Englishman until he was shown a red card.


Cristiano Ronaldo coverted the spot-kick and Real lost the match 3-1 to win the tie 4-3 on aggregate.

"The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body has decided to suspend Juventus player Gianluigi Buffon for three UEFA competition matches for which he would be otherwise eligible," UEFA said in a statement on its website.

The 40-year-old Buffon, who left Juventus after 17 seasons at the club, criticised Oliver after the match, saying the referee had been out of his depth, should have been in the stands eating crisps and must have a garbage bin for a heart.

UEFA also banned AS Roma supporters for two away games after fan violence left one Liverpool supporter in a critical condition ahead of the Champions League semi-final at Anfield.

Roma's ban for the second match has been deferred under a probationary period of two years, European soccer's governing body said in a statement. The Italian club were also fined 50,000 euros ($58,330).

Merseyside Police arrested two men from Rome in April after Liverpool supporter Sean Cox was left with serious injuries following an attack.

Man United agree deal to sign Brazilian Fred

Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Brazil midfielder Fred from Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, the English Premier League club said.

British media reported that United will pay Shaktar about 52 million pounds ($70 million) for the 25-year-old, who is in Brazil's squad for the World Cup in Russia.

"Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Shakhtar Donetsk for the transfer of Frederico Rodrigues de Paula Santos (Fred)," United said in a statement on their website.

"A further announcement will be made in due course."

Fred joined Shakhtar from Brazilian side Internacional in 2013.

Arsenal sign Swiss defender Lichtsteiner from Juventus

Arsenal have signed Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner from Italian champions Juventus on a free transfer, the Premier League club said.

The 34-year-old made more than 250 appearances for Juve, winning the Serie A title in each of his seven seasons at the club. He was named captain of Switzerland in 2016 and has earned 99 caps for his country.

He is new Arsenal head coach Unai Emery's first signing since taking over from Arsene Wenger last month.

"Stephan brings huge experience and leadership to our squad. He's a player with great quality with a very positive and determined attitude. Stephan will improve us on and off the pitch," Emery said in a statement.

Lichtsteiner began his senior career at Swiss club Grasshoppers Zurich in 2001 and played for Lille in France, as well as Lazio in Italy before joining Juventus in 2011.

Real Madrid to get 50 million euros without kicking a ball

European champions Real Madrid will get around 50 million euros ($58 million) without kicking a ball in the Champions League next season as a new revenue distribution system comes into effect.

European soccer body UEFA said on Tuesday that 2.04 billion euros would be distributed among the teams competing in its flagship tournament in 2018/19, although some will get considerably more than others.

Critics say that the system creates a snowball effect as the clubs who already have the highest revenue get the most money.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, who was elected shortly after the new system was approved in 2016, has said that the lack of competitive balance is the biggest issue facing European football, but he concedes it cannot be changed overnight.

Roma, Bilbao and Spartak punished for fan violence

UEFA has punished Italian club AS Roma, Spain's Athletic Bilbao and Russia's Spartak Moscow for fan violence in the Champions League and Europa League, the ruling body said.

Roma have also been handed a two-match ban on their supporters at away games, with the suspension for the second match deferred for a probationary period of two years.

Two Roma fans were arrested by police during the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Liverpool in April after a fan of the English team, Sean Cox, suffered serious injuries in an attack.

UEFA also fined the Italian club 50,000 euros, European soccer's governing body said in a statement.

Bilbao and Spartak have been sanctioned for fan violence during their round-of-32 Europa League tie in Spain in February which resulted in the death of a policemen.

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