UEFA has banned Gianluigi Buffon for three matches for comments he made about referee Michael Oliver after Juventus lost in the Champions League quarter-finals last season
Gianluigi Buffon was enraged by 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.
And speaking about his emotions on that day last month, Buffon was remorseful albeit still frustrated with Oliver’s decision.
‘I think that’s only right [about facing an UEFA charge], as it’s normal my behaviour – not on the field, as I still don’t understand why the referee sent me off – and you, rather than focusing on my comments, should look at behaviour from the official that was not really consistent,’ he said at a press conference on Thursday morning, called to confirm the end of his playing career at Juve,’ Buffon said.
‘I said a few days later that I went over the line and that’s evident. I am extremely sorry about that, as over 23 years of Champions League career, I was never sent off or suspended, so I feel that I behaved fairly and in a sporting manner with everyone.
‘It was a particular situation and a few days later I confessed the Buffon of that day, with the sentiments and feelings of that night, couldn’t help but say those things.
‘A few days later, clearly, I was sorry to have “offended” the referee, because at the end of the day he is a human being who does a very difficult job.
‘If I’d seen him two days later, I’d have hugged Michael Oliver and apologised, but also said he could’ve been a bit calmer in such an important game for us and for me.
‘Nothing more than that. I am not someone who carries rancour.’