Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa has been hit with an eight-game ban following his red card against Barcelona in La Liga—meaning he will not play again this season.
The length of the sanction was confirmed by AFP Sport on Thursday:
Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC relayed a report from Cadena SER that detailed why Costa has been given such a severe punishment:
The Atletico forward was given his marching orders after an angry exchange with the referee, with Costa unhappy at what he thought was a foul on him.
After shouting something in the direction of the official, a red card was issued, and Costa had to be ushered from the field by Barcelona's Gerard Pique.
While Atletico played well for long spells with 10 men, they were eventually beaten 2-0, with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi on hand to score late on. The loss effectively ended the Madrid team's title chances, as Barcelona extended their advantage over Atletico to 11 points.
As Ben Burrows of The Independent noted, there was some detail as to what Costa allegedly said in the referee's match report: "Costa was sent off for the following reason: saying to me loudly, in the following terms: 'I s--t on your w---e mother, I s--t on your w---e mother!'"
Eleven Sports provided footage of the controversial moment, with Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague observing that Costa was adamant he was not insulting the referee (UK only):
With only seven matches left in La Liga and no cup competitions for Atletico to compete for, Costa's season has come to an early end. After a 2018-19 campaign in which he's struggled for form and fitness, that will be hugely frustrating for him.
In the first full season in his second spell with the club, Costa has been underwhelming, netting a meagre two goals from his 16 La Liga appearances.
Corrigan said there has been speculation linking Costa with a move away from Atletico, and the manner in which he was dismissed against Barcelona is unlikely to have earned him too much favour with manager Diego Simeone.
While his Atletico career may be set to end on a low point, Costa will always be a popular figure with the fanbase after he fired the team to an unexpected La Liga title in 2013-14.