Gianluigi Buffon’s ban for verbal assault on Michael Oliver is not long enough… UEFA have missed a chance to stand up against abuse of referees
- UEFA banned Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for three matches
- Punishment came after he was sent off for dissent against Real Madrid in April
- Buffon continued his verbal assault against Michael Oliver after the match
- UEFA should have issued a longer ban to deter players from abusing referees
UEFA have blown a golden chance. They should have banned Gianluigi Buffon for a significant period — enough to deter any other player from acting as he did.
The Juventus goalkeeper was rightly sent off by English referee Michael Oliver near the end of the Champions League quarter-final for prolonged and vehement objections to Real Madrid being awarded a penalty.
However, Buffon was not content with just objecting on the field, he continued his verbal assault after the match and even the day after!
Gianluigi Buffon, pictured last month, got off lightly with UEFA’s short ban for his verbal assault
Buffon got a three-game ban for his conduct during and after April’s game with Real Madrid
Abuse and threats suffered by Oliver and his wife, Lucy, can’t be blamed directly on Buffon but it is hard not to believe that they are linked.
If players (and managers) accepted referees’ decisions, fans would definitely be less inclined to ‘have a go’ in the street. There is far too much abuse hurled at officials.
UEFA like to be consistent with punishments for misconduct — hence Buffon getting a three-match ban, one for the offence and two for the outburst after the game.
But now they are tied to applying an additional two-match ban when the next abuser unloads on a defenceless referee.
Buffon was sent off for Juventus against Real Madrid after protesting to referee Michael Oliver
Oliver awarded Madrid a penalty in 93rd minute for Mehdi Benatia’s foul on Lucas Vazquez