Diego Costa may face a 12-match ban for insulting referee Jesus Gil Manzano


Diego Costa just wouldn’t be Diego Costa without his volatile personality.

The hot-headed Spaniard has let his emotions get the better of him on more than one occasion throughout his career.

And his latest outburst during Atletico Madrid’s match against Barcelona on Saturday earned him a red card.

Costa was sent off 30 minutes into the crucial fixture for directing a foul-mouthed rant towards referee Jesus Gil Manzano.

Recounting the incident in his post-match report, the official said the Atletico striker shouted a common yet hardly charming Spanish insult at him.

Costa’s alleged choice of words translates to: “I s*** on your wh*** mother, I s*** on your wh*** mother.”

In typical fashion, the former Chelsea man didn’t stop there, though.

As per Manzano’s post-match notes, Costa is said to have grabbed the referee's arm in a bid to prevent him showing yellow cards to teammates Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez.

It’s safe to say Costa was pretty out of control at this point - so much so that Gerard Pique even attempted to calm him down and save him from an extended suspension.

The Barcelona defender told his former international colleague: “Stop talking now! What do you want, a four-match ban?"

Well, if that were to be his punishment, Costa might even consider himself fortunate.

FC Barcelona v  Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga

According to the La Liga disciplinary code, the 30-year-old could himself sitting in the stands for up to 12 games, per AS.

It all depends on how the committee decides to charge him.

Article 94 - which could warrant a penalty of four to 12 matches - involves “directing insulting or offensive language at the referee, assistant referees or fourth official, except in cases where it constitutes part of a more serious offence”.

On the other hand, Article 117 is applicable in cases of “disdainful or contemptuous language” towards officials and carries a ban of two to three games.

Additionally, the authorities could also ban Costa for four to 12 fixtures for making physical contact with the referee if they opt to further investigate Manzano’s post-match report.

However, Atletico are preparing an appeal on Costa's behalf - at least in terms of the words said during his tirade.

The club will claim he used a far less offensive phrase that grammatically changes the target of the insult to the speaker himself.

Costa is no stranger to being in hot water, but this is a nasty situation even by his standards.

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