Football

Gattuso gets Galliani support

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AC Milan managing director Adriano Galliani claims the headbutting incident which saw AC Milan vice-captain Gennaro Gattuso charged with gross unsporting misconduct has been blown out of proportion.

Gattuso headbutted Tottenham coach Joe Jordan after the two sides' Champions League last-16 first leg on Tuesday. UEFA have announced their control and disciplinary body will discuss the case against the 33-year-old Italian next Monday.

Galliani believes there has been too much focus on the incident, saying: "What he did was an unpleasant episode that was not good, but he was heavily provoked. Of course you should not react like that but do not condemn everything."

He added: "Gattuso has played 104 games in Europe and has been sent off once, in 2003 after a clash with (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, who is now his team-mate.

"In 25 years, since (Silvio) Berlusconi became president of the company, Milan's conduct has been exemplary."

Galliani added: "We are not thinking of stripping the vice-captaincy from Gattuso."

Gattuso's caution in the San Siro match - awarded for a rash challenge on Steven Pienaar after which the Italian repeatedly hit the turf in anger - ensures he will be suspended for the return leg at White Hart Lane on March 9.

That ban is set to be extended when UEFA's control and disciplinary body meet on Monday to discuss the case. UEFA rules stipulate a minimum three-match ban for assault, although the governing body have the power to dole out lengthier suspensions in exceptional cases.

Galliani added: "We will produce our defence tomorrow and ask for Gattuso's behaviour over 104 games to be taken into account, then we'll see what to do after the ruling."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
European News
Football
Premier League
Joe Jordan
UEFA Champions League
Steven Pienaar

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