Genoa’s Pinilla banned for 5 matches for hitting a referee

Getty Images

GENOA, Italy (AP) Genoa forward Mauricio Pinilla has been banned for five matches for hitting a referee.

Pinilla was sent off during Genoa’s 5-0 Serie A loss to Atalanta for two quick bookings – the first for a tackle on visiting goalkeeper Etrit Berisha and the second for his protests.

The league’s disciplinary commission, which announced the sanction on Tuesday, says after being shown the first yellow card Pinilla “directed offensive expressions to the referee accompanied by a meaningful and clear gesture with his arm.”

It adds that after Pinilla was sent off he “approached the referee with a threatening and intimidating attitude … hitting him with slaps on his arm and right hand and directing other threatening expressions to him.”

The 33-year-old Chile forward is on loan from Atalanta.