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Feyenoord strip Pelle of captaincy over conduct

The Italian striker was last week handed a one-match ban suspended for 12 months by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) after he was caught on camera angrily kicking the dugout following Feyenoord's 2-2 draw with Twente, before continuing his outburst into the tunnel.

Pelle was available for 'De Klassieker' with Ajax on Sunday and, though he scored the opening goal of the game, was unable to prevent his side losing 2-1.

But Pelle was somewhat fortunate to finish the game after he appeared to aim an elbow at Ajax's Joel Veltman.

The incident went unnoticed by referee Bjorn Kuipers and the KNVB have yet to announce if they will take retrospective action.

Feyenoord have already declared their position on Pelle's recent disciplinary issues, making it abundantly clear that his behaviour must improve.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Feyenoord have removed the captaincy from Graziano Pelle. Moreover the striker is not available for the next two games for Feyenoord.

"These measures were taken on Monday, and made known to Pelle and his team-mates."

Sunday's setback all but ends Feyenoord's hopes of claiming the Eredivisie title as they trail rivals Ajax by 12 points.

Pelle's absence for the matches against Groningen and Heerenveen is likely to be keenly felt as the 28-year-old has scored 20 league goals this season.