Diego Costa: Striker handed eight-game ban for abusing referee

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Diego Costa: Striker handed eight-game ban for abusing referee
Diego Costa was shown a straight red card in the 27th minute of Atletico Madrid’s match against Barcelona.

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has been banned for eight games after being found guilty of abusing a referee.

The former Chelsea forward, 30, was sent off by official Jesus Gil Manzano during Atletico’s 2-0 loss to Barcelona in La Liga.

Manzano said in his match report that the Spanish international had “insulted his mother”, a claim Costa denied.

The Spanish Football Federation’s ban rules him out of Atletico’s remaining La Liga fixtures this season.

Costa, who can appeal against the ban, received a four game suspension for insults to the referee and a further four for grabbing the official’s arm.

“I asked the referee and he told me Costa said something to him,” Atletico manager Diego Simeone said after the game.

“Other players have said things and not been sent off but that does not justify what Costa did.”

Atletico are currently 11 points behind league leaders Barcelona in second place, with seven games remaining.

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