UEFA bans Buffon for rants at Champions League referee

Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon. (Francisco Seco/AP)

NYON, Switzerland — UEFA banned Italian great Gianluigi Buffon for three games on Tuesday for his red card in a Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid, and later comments about the referee.

Buffon, who has since left Juventus, will serve the ban next season if he signs for a club which plays in the Champions League or Europa League.

The 40-year-old goalkeeper verbally and physically confronted English referee Michael Oliver when Madrid was awarded a stoppage-time penalty as the second-leg game was heading to extra time.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot to send Madrid through 4-3 on aggregate to the semifinals.

In post-match interviews, Buffon criticized Oliver and questioned his ability. He apologized several days later.

Buffon was facing an automatic one-game ban for his red card.

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