A 14-YEAR-OLD footballer has been hit with a one-year ban for pulling down his shorts and exposing himself to a female referee.
Giulia Nicastro was officiating at an Under-14s tournament in Venice, Italy on May 22 when the incident occurred.
A Treporti player made the lewd gesture after his side conceded a corner and was sent off by Nicastro.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) slammed the “totally unacceptable” behaviour but will appeal the ban handed out to the youngster.
The teenager’s sentence was issued by the Venetian Disciplinary Court and will be halved if he agrees to take a re-educational course.
FIGC president Gabriele Gravina insists he will take the case to the Federal Court of Appeal as he is unhappy with the punishment.
He said: “From my side, there must be not any reduction on this behaviour – I intervene decisively, it is not acceptable, I can’t hide my disappointment.”
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BBC Sport reports that Nicastro, 22, is from Venice and has refereed more than 40 matches at the level of the game she took charge of.
Additional reports have claimed she was abused by fans during the game.
Treporti have apologised to Nicastro, insisting they were “deeply disappointed” with events.