Rome: Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o has been banned for three matches for headbutting Chievo’s Bostjan Cesar after TV evidence was used to prove his guilt.
The Cameroon captain was also hit with a 30,000-euro fine for his action in the 2-1 defeat to the Verona-based team on Sunday.
The 29-year-old had been fouled by Cesar in the 36th minute of the game, but he got up and ran over to Cesar before headbutting him in the chest in an attack reminiscent of France legend Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.
The incident was not seen by referee Gianluca Rocchi and Eto’o even went on to score an injury time consolation.
Italy’s sporting justice body said the ban was for “premeditated violent conduct”.
Inter immediately published their intention to appeal on their website.
Cesar escaped any sanction after hitting Eto’o with his forearm before the incident as the referee had given a free-kick against him for that action.
However, in a separate incident lowly Lecce’s Ernesto Chevanton was hit with a five game ban for a similar affair.
Chevanton was sent off against Sampdoria on Sunday after he ran after and kicked an opponent.
The sporting authorities explained that his harsher punishment was because he had also insulted the referee, thrown his shirt at him and then continued to argue with the fourth official after his dismissal.
Eto’o is the joint top scorer in Serie A with nine goals after 13 matches.
He has bagged 18 in 19 games in all competitions in a stunning start to the season.