Gattuso sweats over UEFA ban
Published 18/02/2011 | 05:00
Gennaro Gattuso could still face a lengthy ban, even though he appeared to receive a lesser charge from UEFA yesterday following his headbutt on Joe Jordan after Tuesday's Champions League tie between AC Milan and Tottenham.
UEFA announced they had charged Gattuso with "gross unsporting conduct" following his attack on the Spurs assistant manager at the San Siro, which carries a minimum ban of at least one European match.
Because the Milan midfielder was not charged with the more serious offence of "assaulting players or others present at the match" -- which would result in a minimum three-match ban if found guilty -- it was assumed he might be treated leniently.
However, UEFA pointed out yesterday that the gravity of the offence meant Gattuso could face a ban far in excess of the minimum and that the charge was no guide to what will happen when its control and disciplinary committee meets on Monday.
Sources in Italy suggested that the 33-year-old's club had already been warned to brace itself for a five or six-match punishment, or worse.
Yesterday, Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani also claimed that Gattuso had been provoked by Jordan, and added: "Sure, you needn't react like that but the whole thing has been stigmatised. We are not thinking about taking the vice-captaincy away from Gattuso. He'll keep it."
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp leapt to Jordan's defence after it was claimed that Gattuso had been racially provoked.
"This is a case of someone playing the race card, trying to deflect from what had happened. Joe is not, and never has been, a racist," he said.
Meanwhile, Spurs defender Vedran Corluka underwent a scan yesterday on his ankle following Mathieu Flamini's two-footed lunge at him. The Croat will be out for at least four weeks. (© Daily Telegraph, London)