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Report: Douglas Costa Facing 3-Game Ban, Major Fine After Spitting Incident

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2018

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 16:  Douglas Costa of Juventus (R) spits to Federico Di Francesco of Sassuolo during the serie A match between Juventus and US Sassuolo at Allianz Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa./Getty Images)
Claudio Villa./Getty Images

Juventus winger Douglas Costa is reportedly set to receive a three-game ban and up to a €200,000 fine after he was sent off on Sunday for spitting at Sassuolo's Federico Di Francesco.

The Brazilian was dismissed after a VAR assessment, as he aimed an elbow at his opponent as well as attempted a headbutt. Footage then showed Costa spitting in Di Francesco's face.

Per Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football Italia), spitting is classed as violent conduct and as such the winger is set to sit out the next three games. It's added that violent conduct offences can result in a ban of five games if the incident is particularly serious.

Football Italia also relayed a report from La Repubblica, who have noted Costa may be fined as much as €200,000 for his conduct despite Juventus' claims that their player was provoked prior to the incident.

The Eleven Sports Twitter account posted footage of Costa spitting at the Sassuolo player:

Eleven Sports @ElevenSports_UK

This is going to be a huge story in world football. Douglas Costa spits in Federico Di Francesco's mouth during the #Juve and #Sassuolo game. https://t.co/IXyYDClct8

As noted by La Stampa (h/t Football Italia), in previous instances similar to this, the bans have been varied, with Sinisa Mihajlovic picking up an eight-game suspension in the UEFA Champions League for spitting at Adrian Mutu.

Former Napoli player Ezequiel Lavezzi and ex-Roma defender Aleandro Rosi were banned in 2011 for three matches in Serie A after they spat at one another.

After the game, which the Italian champions won 2-1 thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo brace, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri was critical of the behaviour of his player.

"It’s only right that [Costa] is fined and he certainly will be," he said, per Reuters (h/t the Guardian). "I was surprised by his reaction. We have suffered a goal, a red card and a suspension which will be long."

Costa has been condemned by many within world football for his actions. Alex Goldberg of the Calcioland podcast said his opinion of the player has changed completely:

Alex Goldberg @AlexGoldberg_

Use to like Douglas Costa. Now I don’t. Simple. Disgusting actions from him.

Italian football journalist Adam Digby relayed the apology Costa posted on his Instagram account following the game:

Adam Digby @Adz77

Now @douglascosta has taken to Instagram... apologising to everyone except Federico Di Francesco (the player he elbowed & spat at!) screenshot of his post & a translation of it below #Juventus https://t.co/Pu3rBGSeSX

Costa's actions were a blemish on what should've been a memorable day for Juve fans, as summer signing Ronaldo scored his first goals for the club. The win extended the team's perfect beginning to the campaign too, with four wins recorded from their first four games.

The Brazilian is set to miss some key matches as a result of his red card. If he is issued with a three-game ban, the last match he will sit out will be the clash with Napoli, who appear the most likely challengers to the Bianconeri this season, on September 29.

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