Costa given eight-match ban for abusing referee

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa has been given an eight-match ban and fined for abusing a referee.

The striker was dismissed during the first half of Atletico’s 2-0 league defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Saturday.

Referee Jesus Gil Manzano said in his match report that Costa had insulted his mother – a claim the Spain international denied.

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Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, centre right, tries to calm down team-mate Diego Costa, left, during the match at Barcelona (AP)

The Spanish Football Federation announced it has punished Costa with a four-match suspension for the insults he made to the referee and a further four for grabbing the official’s arm.

It means the former Chelsea player will not figure in LaLiga again this season, with Atletico having only seven fixtures remaining. He can, however, appeal against the ban.

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Barcelona’s Gerald Pique talks to Costa as he leaves the field (AP)

Costa was also fined more than £5,100 and his club over £2,400.

Atletico held the hosts goalless for 85 minutes, before late efforts from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi gave Barca a 2-0 win.

The setback Simeone’s team 11 points behind league leaders Barca in second place.