Diego Simeone has been given a three-game touchline ban which will see him sit out the remainder of Atletico Madrid’s league season.
The Argentine was sent to the stands during his side’s 1-0 win over Malaga last Saturday after a ball was thrown from the technical area, interrupting a counter-attack from the visitors at the Vicente Calderon.
Simeone denied he had thrown the ball himself but accepted that referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz followed correct procedure in sending him to the stands for the second half.
“It’s clear that the referee made the right decision as per the regulations. He did what he had to do. There’s little more that can be said,” the 45-year-old said after the match.
“It was a boy beside me [who threw the ball], but that doesn’t mean anything.”
However, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has taken a dim view of the incident and opted to suspend Simeone for three matches, meaning he will not be present in the Atleti dug-out for the remainder of their title run-in – though he still has the option to appeal.
According to RFEF regulations, Simeone – as head coach of the team – is culpable for the disruption of the match if the referee was unable to identify the perpetrator who threw the ball.
Atletico, who are level on points with Liga leaders Barcelona, face Rayo Vallecano, Levante and Celta Vigo in their final three games.