Stuttgart midfielder Santiago Ascacibar has been banned for six weeks following an incident in which he appeared to spit on Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz.
The 22-year-old was sent off in the last minute of last Saturday’s Bundesliga clash, which Leverkusen won 1-0 courtesy of Havertz’s 64th-minute penalty.
Ascacibar, who will now be out of action until at least May 25 following the decision of the German Football Federation (DFB), has admitted his actions were unacceptable.
“I have apologised for my actions to the club and to the team,” he said in a statement released by Stuttgart.
“That apology of course extends to my opponent Kai Havertz. Although I had been provoked, such actions are not acceptable.”
Stuttgart, who sit 16th in the Bundesliga table, have five matches remaining this season.
It means the earliest Ascacibar can return would be in a relegation play-off match, should Stuttgart be unable to climb the table.
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