Diego Costa: Atletico Madrid striker gets eight-game ban for abusing referee

Diego Costa is shown a red card during Atletico Madrid's loss to Barcelona
Diego Costa was shown a straight red card in the 27th minute of Atletico Madrid's match against Barcelona

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has been banned for eight games after being found guilty of abusing a referee.

The former Chelsea player was sent off by Jesus Gil Manzano during Atletico's 2-0 La Liga defeat by Barcelona.

Manzano's match report said the 30-year-old Spain international had "insulted his mother", a claim Costa has denied.

Atletico have said they will appeal against the ban, which would rule Costa out of their remaining league fixtures.

The Spanish Football Federation gave Costa a four-game suspension for insults to the referee and a further four matches for grabbing the official's arm.

"I asked the referee and he told me Costa said something to him," Atletico manager Diego Simeone said after Saturday's game.

"Other players have said things and not been sent off, but that does not justify what Costa did."

Atletico are second in La Liga, 11 points behind league leaders Barcelona with seven games remaining.

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