AC Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso will discover on Monday the extent of his punishment following his extraordinary antics in Tuesday night’s Champions League encounter with Tottenham.
The combative midfielder faces a lengthy European ban after UEFA announced they had opened disciplinary proceedings following his clash with Spurs coach Joe Jordan.
Gattuso headbutted Jordan after the final whistle of the first leg of the last-16 encounter, which Spurs won 1-0 thanks to a Peter Crouch goal in the 80th minute.
The former Italy international also confronted Jordan earlier in the match, grabbing the Scot by the throat and pushing him in the face as tempers boiled over.
Gattuso’s agent Claudio Pasqualin has since stated that Jordan had used provocative language towards the midfielder prior to their clash. Spurs yesterday declined the opportunity to comment on his claims.
The player later apologised for his actions, saying on www.acmilan.it: “At the end of the match I lost my temper. I took responsibility for my actions. I did something I shouldn’t have done, but Jordan teased me for the whole second half.
“Anyway, this doesn’t justify what I did. It’s my fault, I shouldn’t have had a fight with someone older than me - it’s wrong.
“We’ll see what measures the disciplinary committee will take.”
He added: “As for the game itself, we were poor in the first half, while after the break we had a couple of chances, but they were the ones to score, finishing off a counter-attack.
“Now we’ll need to win in London. Everyone saw that they aren’t better than us.”
Gattuso picked up a yellow card during the course of a petulant performance, which also saw him clash with Crouch.
The caution - awarded for a rash challenge on Steven Pienaar after which the Italian repeatedly hit the turf in anger - ensures the 33-year-old will be suspended for the return leg at White Hart Lane on March 9.
That ban is certain to be extended when UEFA’s control and disciplinary body meet on Monday to discuss the case, and speculation is rife as to the length of the punishment that might be handed down.
UEFA rules stipulate a minimum three-match ban for assault, although the governing body have the power to dole out lengthier suspensions in exceptional cases.
Chelsea’s Didier Drogba was banned for six UEFA competition matches - two of them deferred - following his actions at the end of a Champions League match against Barcelona in 2009, when the Ivorian raged at the referee before swearing into a live television camera.