Tougher sanctions for violence against referees in Italy

ROME (AP) — The Italian football federation has introduced stronger sanctions in a bid to combat violence against referees, including a minimum two-year ban.

The announcement on Friday came after a spate of incidents occurred in the lower divisions in Italy.

The minimum ban has been raised to one year for violence without need for medical assistance and a minimum of two years for cases that require medical intervention.

FIGC President Gabriele Gravina says: "We have kept out promises" adding that "the first step toward the eradication of violence against referees is the raising of the sanctions against those who tarnish themselves with this shameful behavior."

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