The Malta FA Disciplinary Commissioner came down heavily on former Sannat Lions player Antoine Camilleri who was handed a three-year ban after assaulting assistant refereee Andrea Pavia during a GFA Division Two match last weekend.
Camilleri attacked Pavia just after he was shown a red card by referee Massimo Axisa for a second bookable offence.
The player has since been released by his club and was also charged by the authorities for his unruly behaviour and received a one-year ban from entering a football ground while also being fined €100.
That court ruling instigated a huge dose of criticism from the football fraternity who deemed it too lenient.
The Malta Football Referees Association in a statement ordered its members not to officiate matches that involved Camilleri and Sannat Lions due to the ‘unacceptable behaviour of the fans’ during the incident.
But the Malta FA took a different view of the incident and handed Camilleri a three-year ban and an additional seven-match ban.
Meanwhile, nine Premier League players were sanctioned by the MFA Disciplinary Commissioner.
Amadou Samb (Gżira United), Mattia Cinquini (Ħamrun Spartans), Dexter Xuereb (Mosta), Camilo Escobar (Sta Lucia), Jackson Mendoza (Sta Lucia), Adrian Borg (Sirens), Claudio Pani (Sliema Wanderers), Marco Botta (Tarxien Rainbows) and Steve Borg (Valletta) were all handed a one-match ban.
Leaders Floriana will be without their coach Enzo Potenza for their next two matches against Balzan and fierce rivals Valletta after he was handed a two-match ban after he booked by the referee at the end of Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Birkirkara.