November 14, 2023

‘Abusive’ Giroud banned for two games after Lecce tirade

‘Abusive’ Giroud banned for two games after Lecce tirade

AC Milan’s French forward #09 Olivier Giroud receives a red card during the Italian Serie A football match between Lecce and AC Milan at the Ettore Giardiniero stadium in Lecce, on November 11, 2023. (Photo by Carlo Hermann / AFP)

Olivier Giroud has been banned for two games for aiming a volley of abuse at officials at the end of AC Milan’s dramatic and controversial 2-2 draw at Lecce, Serie A said on Tuesday.

France striker Giroud was dismissed in stoppage time at the Stadio Via del Mare on Saturday afternoon after aiming “abusive expressions” at referee Rosario Abisso following an initial booking for dissent.

Giroud, who has scored eight times this season, was then shown a straight red card and will now miss home matches against Fiorentina and Frosinone after the international break.

Abisso was at the centre of controversy after Lecce were denied a stunning comeback from two goals down when shortly after Giroud’s sending off Roberto Piccoli fired home what looked like being an incredible winner from distance.

However, the strike was chalked off for Piccoli standing on Malick Thiaw’s foot before receiving the ball.

That decision sparked fury in the previously delirious stands and enraged club president Saverio Sticchi Damiani, as well as Lecce’s players and training staff.

Saverio Sticchi Damiani has been banned until December 4 for “intimidatory behaviour towards match officials” and threatening them in the dressing rooms after the match.

He then alluded to a conspiracy when he accused Abisso and the VAR officials of “splitting hairs” to find a way to rule out the goal.

The club’s sporting director Stefano Trinchera was also banned for three matches and fined 10,000 euros ($10,900) for similar offences aggravated by “blasphemy”, while CEO Sandro Mencucci was suspended until November 27.

Being saved from defeat did little for Milan however, as Stefano Pioli’s side fell eight points behind league leaders and local rivals Inter Milan.