Marseille's Lemina handed ban for groin punch

Marseille's Mario Lemina was handed a four-game ban on Thursday by the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) for striking Rennes striker Ola Toivonen in the groin in Ligue 1 last week.

Lemina will be unavailable for Marseille's league fixtures against Reims, Saint-Etienne and Caen, with the fourth match of his penalty suspended for one year.

The LFP announced Lemina's ban on their website.

The 21-year-old midfielder, who had never previously been sent off in Ligue 1, was shown a straight red card in the 83rd minute of last Saturday's 1-1 draw between Marseille and Rennes.

Lemina was involved in a tussle with Toivonen with the latter appearing to kick his opponent, who lay on top of the ball, which saw Marseille's young star lash out with his left arm into the Swedish forward's lower abdominal region.

Marseille confirmed the suspension on their website, claiming it was "severe" considering Lemina's previous good behaviour.

"The OM midfielder [Lemina] will not play the games against Reims, Saint-Etienne and Caen," the statement read.

"[It was a] severe decision with regard to the player's record, [who has] never [been] expelled from the beginning of his career and cautioned only five times in four years in Ligue 1."