World Cup referee Massimo Busacca was suspended for three Swiss league matches yesterday after making an obscene hand gesture to supporters during a match.
The Swiss Football Association said the three-match ban was imposed by its referees' commission and would enter into force immediately.
Busacca, who refereed at the 2006 World Cup and is scheduled to handle matches at the 2010 tournament in South Africa, was caught by photographers gesturing to fans of Young Boys during a Swiss Cup match on Saturday.
The 40-year-old official, who also took charge of the Champions League final last May, apologized Sunday for his actions.
"I let myself be provoked by verbal abuse from supporters," Busacca said in a statement. "I lost my cool with an unsporting gesture."
The incident happened after supporters of third-tier club Baden encroached the field when their team took an early lead at home to Young Boys in a first-round match, which the Swiss league leader eventually won 3-1.
Busacca asked for a warning message to be relayed over the stadium public address system, prompting visiting fans to chant abuse at him.