Inter Milan defender Simone Pecorini has been banned for nine months, after abusing a referee during their NextGen Series final win over Ajax.
Milan lifted the Under-19 edition of the Champions League on March 25 following a penalty shootout against the Dutch outfit, but the match was marred with controversy after it emerged the 19-year-old was overly aggressive to English official Lee Collins.
Amateur video footage has since circulated, showing Pecorini verbally protesting towards the referee shortly after Lorenzo Crisetig’s winning spot kick, although he did not make any physical contact with Collins.
“There was no violence, but simply a verbal protest,” the defender’s agent Giorgio Parretti told La Repubblica.
“We found a video clip and have sent it to Inter for the appeal. The lad made a mistake, but such a huge ban is certainly out of proportion.”
Inter senior coach Andrea Stramaccioni, who presided over the cup final victory, also commented on the incident at his pre-match press conference: “Unfortunately I did not see anything, as I wasn’t present (when the incident took place).
“What I can say is that I was taken aback by this story because Pecorini is a fantastic lad who rarely complains.
“It seems strange that he would be so naive as to do something that serious.”