Costa banned for 8 games for insulting referee

Costa loses his cool during Atletico's match with Barcelona at the Nou Camp

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

The Spanish Football Federation met on Wednesday to discuss what punishment to hand out and have decided that Costa must sit out eight La Liga fixtures.

Manzano said in his match report that the Spanish worldwide had "insulted his mother", a claim Costa denied.

The length of the ban means Costa's season is over - as could his Atletico career.

Atletico president Enrique Cerezo suggested on Thursday the club will appeal against the decision.

"Something always happens to us when we come here", added Koke.

The Rojiblancos themselves were handed a £2 400 (R44 000) fine for the incident, while Costa was fined £5 178 (R94 800).

Costa was shown a red card in the first half of Atletico's 2-0 loss to Barcelona on Saturday, a result that practically ended the team's hopes of contending for the Spanish league title.

The RFEF ruled Costa should, therefore, be suspended for four matches for "clear insults and offensive expressions made by the player towards the referee" and another four, after "meeting the referee with mild violence, without aggressive spirit, but in a manner that is reflected in the act of grabbing".

In addition, Costa was also accused of holding the referee's arm to prevent him from showing yellow cards to Atletico teammates Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin.

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