Referee banned for head-butting goalkeeper

An Italian soccer referee has been banned for one year after head-butting a goalkeeper who had remonstrated with him after the match for being sent off.

Lower-tier referee Antonio Martiniello gave Borgo Mogliano's goalkeeper Matteo Ciccioli his marching orders during the match against Montottone in Macerata, ANSA news agency reported.

At the end of the match the goalkeeper sought an explanation outside the change room for his red card when Martiniello head-butted Ciccioli, who was taken to hospital to treat his injuries.

Martiniello's ban will not only prevent him from officiating games for the next year but also from entering the facilities of teams in the top three tiers of Italian soccer, minor and amateur leagues, and matches involving the Italy national team.

The office of the Macerata police chief said the ban was fully warranted as Martiniello had failed to set an example for youngsters.