Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa could be hit with a ban of up to 12 games as a result of his red card in Saturday's 2-0 defeat to Barcelona.
Costa was sent off for screaming what was translated as "I s**t on your w***e mother" at referee Gil Manzano after just 28 minutes of the match, and he could now be set for an extended period on the sidelines as a result.
As a result of his explicit rant, AS state that Costa could face a ban of anywhere between four and 12 games, if he is found to have breached Article 94 of La Liga's disciplinary code, which seeks to punish players who direct insulting or offensive language towards match officials.
However, he could face a lighter punishment of either two or three games if La Liga officials decide to charge him with a breach of Article 117, which simply relates to disdainful language.
Costa also faces a separate investigation after he grabbed Manzano during their confrontation. The referee said that Costa repeatedly grabbed his arm to prevent him from showing a yellow card to his teammates Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez, which also carries a punishment of up to 12 games.
However, if Atletico get their way, all the charges against Costa could be dropped as Los Rojiblancos are prepared to appeal the decision. They believe that Manzano misheard Costa, who instead said something much more light-hearted.
Atletico believe footage of the incident proves their point, and they will plead their case to La Liga officials in the hope that the red card will be rescinded.
The golden rule of Peak Diego Costa is that you have never seen Peak Diego Costa.— Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) April 6, 2019
A 12-game ban would see Costa miss the remainder of the current campaign, whilst he would also be sidelined for the first five games of next season, which would come as a huge blow for their title aspirations before the season has even started.