Gilardino banned for two games for handball

October 27, 2008

MILAN, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Fiorentina striker Alberto Gilardino has been banned for two matches for scoring a goal with his arm in Sunday's 3-1 win at Palermo, the Italian league said on Monday.

The league's sporting judge said in a statement that after reviewing television evidence, it was clear the Italy forward had deliberately used his arm when he slid in for the opening goal in the 19th minute.

The statement said the act was punishable because it was "serious unsporting conduct".

Palermo were furious that the goal was allowed to stand and even more livid that Gilardino ran away to celebrate.

"Gilardino deserves a five-game ban. He even celebrated, incredible," the Sicilian side's president Maurizio Zamparini told reporters before the announcement.

Former AC Milan forward Gilardino, top scorer in Serie A this term with seven goals, will miss Wednesday's home game with champions Inter Milan and next Sunday's match at Siena.

Post-match use of video evidence often leads to soccer players being banned for bad tackles or violent incidents which were missed by the referee. However, it is rare to punish a player for handball using replays.