UEFA have opened official disciplinary proceedings against Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
The Italian international embarked on a furious tirade against English referee Michael Oliver at the end of last month’s Champions League quarter final between his side and Real Madrid, having just seen Juve concede a last-minute penalty.
Buffon was subsequently sent off for the outburst, and proceeded to publicly belittle Oliver and accuse him of having a “trash can for a heart” for awarding the penalty that sent the Old Lady crashing out of Europe, and went on to suggest that Oliver didn’t have the experience or temperament for such a high-profile fixture.
The 40-year-old has been charged on two counts by European football’s governing body for the incident and aftermath – Article 15 of UEFA Disciplinary Regulations for the red card itself, and under Article 11, for his actions afterwards, relating to “general principles of conduct.”
Oliver and his wife were the target of online abuse after the match, which intensified every time Buffon criticised the official.
UEFA will deliver a final verdict on May31st, but with Buffon still undecided as to his plans for next season, he may be handed a suspension that will not be carried out should he choose to hang up his gloves at the end of the season.