Gattuso faces lengthy Uefa ban for San Siro antics

Governing body expected to get tough with Milan midfielder after his extraordinary Champions League behaviour against Spurs
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The Independent Football

Milan's Gennaro Gattuso will discover on Monday the extent of his punishment following his extraordinary antics in Tuesday night's Champions League encounter with Tottenham.

The combative midfielder faces a lengthy European ban after Uefa announced they had opened disciplinary proceedings following his clash with Spurs assistant manager Joe Jordan.

Gattuso butted Jordan after the final whistle of the last-16 encounter, which Spurs won 1-0 thanks to a Peter Crouch goal. The Italian also confronted Jordan earlier in the match, grabbing the Scot by the throat and pushing him in the face as tempers boiled over.

Gattuso's agent Claudio Pasqualin has since stated that Jordan had used provocative language towards the midfielder prior to their confrontation. Spurs declined the opportunity to comment on his claims.

Gattuso later apologised: "I lost control. There is no excuse. I take my responsibilities for that. I was nervous. I didn't want to argue with players and I did it with him, but I was wrong to do what I have done."

Gattuso picked up a yellow card during the course of a petulant performance, which also saw him clash with Crouch. The caution – awarded for a rash challenge on Steven Pienaar after which the Italian repeatedly hit the turf in anger – ensures the 33-year-old will be suspended for the return leg at White Hart Lane on 9 March.

That ban is certain to be extended when Uefa meet on Monday to discuss the case. Uefa rules stipulate a minimum three-match ban for assault, although the governing body have the power to dole out lengthier suspensions. Chelsea's Didier Drogba was banned for six Uefa competition matches – two of them deferred – following his actions at the end of a Champions League match against Barcelona in 2009.

Gattuso's actions were greeted with bemusement by Spurs manager Harry Redknapp. "When he came over at the end of the game I thought he was going to apologise to Joe," Redknapp said. "I shook hands with him, I thought he was OK and realised he'd made a mistake. Next thing I know he's nutted Joe. Not that it had much effect on him, all them balls he's headed over the years."