Referee 'set to be suspended' after awkwardly snubbing handshake with female assistant before Serie A clash | The Sun

REFEREE Juan Luca Sacchi is set to be suspended after awkwardly snubbing a handshake with his female assistant, according to reports.

The Serie A official was caught on camera pulling his hand away from Francesca Di Monte before Friday's match between Lecce and Sassuolo.

Footage shows the female assistant shaking her head after the incident.

Sacchi can be seen embracing his other assistant and Lecce captain Gabriel Strefezza in the tunnel.

According to reports in Italy, Sacchi will now be handed a one-match suspension as punishment for the incident.

His actions are said to have caused embarrassment to the Italian Referees Association (AIA), who have claimed it was not a form of sexist discrimination.



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The report adds that Sacchi was scolded in private by referee designator Gianluca Rocchi after footage of the snub emerged.

A statement from the AIA, via news agency Ansa, explained: "We can absolutely exclude that this was a sexist gesture or a personal snub.

"As far as we are concerned, it is not a problem, it was only an involuntary gesture that was misinterpreted.

"The two colleagues worked well during the match and their performance was excellent.'

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Sacchi could be suspended for one match, according to reports in ItalyCredit: Getty
Di Monte was the assistant referee for Friday's Serie A clash in LecceCredit: Rex

"What is truly surprising is that there is talk of sexism in an association that has made the knocking down of gender barriers one of its greatest achievements."

Sacchi, 38, has been a Serie A referee since 2015, officiating a total of 43 matches to date.

He was previously given a suspension after a costly blunder in Inter Milan's 2-2 draw against Monza back in January.

Sacchi came under fire after wrongly blowing his whistle for a foul and disallowing an Inter goal whilst they led 2-1.

Once the action got underway, Lecce and Sassuolo played out a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Via del Mare.

Nikola Krstovic equalised for the hosts after Domenico Berardi had opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

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