Disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon following his Champions League red card last month.
UEFA has announced that the veteran Italian has been charged with breaching its “general principles of conduct” after his outburst against English referee Michael Oliver.
After Oliver awarded Real Madrid a last-gasp spot-kick – which Cristiano Ronaldo converted to knock Juventus out – Buffon was sent off for protesting against the Premier League official’s decision.
His emotion was in part put down to the fact that, at the age of 40, it may have been his final act in the Champions League. He went on to say Oliver had a “bag of rubbish for a heart”.
Oliver and wife Lucy were offered police support in the wake of the incident, after both were targeted by social media trolls.
UEFA, which also charged Buffon for the red card, said in a statement the case will be dealt with on May 31.
Lucy Oliver is also a referee, officiating in the Women’s Super League and men’s non-league matches.
UEFA previously offered its support to the pair, saying: “UEFA strongly condemns the abuse directed at Michael Oliver and his wife. We have been in contact with them to offer our support and we trust the relevant authorities to take action against those individuals who have behaved inappropriately both on and off social media.”
Buffon is one of the game’s most decorated players, with 176 caps for his country and multiple domestic Italian honours, as well as winning the World Cup in 2006. He has, however, failed to win the Champions League despite reaching three finals.