top ref banned

World Cup ref Busacca gets ban for finger gesture

September 21, 2009

Swiss referee Massimo Busacca, who took charge of last season's Champions League final, was handed a three-match ban on Monday for making an insulting gesture to fans who barracked him at the weekend.

Busacca was photographed sticking his middle finger up at Young Boys fans who insulted him during their team's Swiss Cup match at third division FC Baden.

On Sunday, he apologised for the incident and said he should not have stooped to their level.

"During Saturday's game between FC Baden and Young Boys in the first round proper of the cup, the top level Swiss referee "gave the finger" to fans who had insulted him," the Swiss Football Federation said in a statement.

Busacca, 40, has been an international referee for 10 years. He officiated at the 2006 World Cup and last year's European championship and also took charge of the 2007 UEFA Cup final, while he was scheduled to handle matches at the 2010 World Cup.

Busacca, who speaks five languages, is regarded as one of Europe's top referees.