Atletico Madrid manager, Diego Simeone, has been handed a three-game ban which rules him out for the rest of the season in La Liga following an incident last weekend when an extra ball was thrown on to the pitch during Atlético Madrid’s match at home against Málaga.
Just before the interval, a ball had been thrown on the pitch from the Atlético technical area while Málaga set off on a counterattack, threatening to disrupt the play. The referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz asked Simeone for the person who is responsible for the ball. When the referee got no answer from the coach, he sent the coach off.
Although the Argentine coach insists he didn’t throw the ball, he accepts the referee’s decision to send him to the stands. Hear him:
“It’s clear that the referee made the right decision as per the regulations. He did what he had to do. There’s little more that can be said. The images will show it was a boy beside me, but that doesn’t mean anything.”
This will not be the first time Simeone will get lengthy bans. In August 2014, he was given an eight-match suspension when Atléti beat Real Madrid in the Super Cup. He got four games for tapping the back of a linesman’s head, two games for protesting, one game for applauding his sending-off and one game for remaining in the stands instead of leaving the stadium after his sending-off.
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What this development imply simply is that the coach will be in the dugout when his team take on Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday night. But, as his side go neck and neck with Barcelona and Real Madrid in the promotion race, he will miss the remaining league games against Rayo Vallecano, Levante and Celta Vigo.
Atletico have only three league games remaining this season and are currently level on points with Barcelona, who have the edge on head-to-head record.