Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has been banned for eight games after being found guilty of abusing referee Jesus Gil Manzano during his side’s 2-0 loss to Barcelona.
The Spain international, who rejoined the Madrid club from Chelsea in 2018 – four years after leaving Diego Simeone’s side for Stamford Bridge – insulted the official’s mother, according to Manzano’s match report from the La Liga fixture on April 6.
His post-match report stated: “In the 28th minute, number 19 … Diego Costa was sent off for the following reason: saying to me loudly, in the following terms: ‘I s**t on your w**** mother, I s**t on your w**** mother!’”
The suspension, which has been handed down by the Spanish Football Federation on Thursday, rules the 30-year-old Costa out of Atletico’s remaining domestic league games this season. He will also miss one game next season.
Atletico is second in the La Liga table, 11 points behind leaders Barcelona.
Half of the ban relates to the verbally abusive comments, while the other four matches are the result of Costa grabbing the referee’s arm.
This latest punishment marks the 30th time that Costa has been suspended - either for a red card, an accumulation of yellow cards or following retrospective action - since 2006.
However, it is also the forward’s first ban of the season.
Although a lengthy suspension, the eight-match ban is not unique in La Liga’s history. In 2009, Portuguese defender Pepe – then of Real Madrid – was banned for 10 games after stamping on and kicking out at Getafe’s Javier Casquero, before clashing with Juan Angel Albin.
Costa, who was born in Brazil and represented the country of his birth twice in friendly matches before switching his allegiance to Spain, has also been fined $6,769.
He has the right to appeal the sanctions.