May 24, 2019
Latest News

Diego Costa returns to Atletico Madrid practice

Madrid, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa on Friday returned to the first team's training after refusing to take part in the previous session after the club opened an investigation into his eight-game suspension with the possibility of heavily sanctioning the player after he received a red card during a La Liga game against Barcelona.

The 30-year-old Costa took part in Friday's session on the eve of the La Liga clash against Eibar that is to take place at Ipurua Municipal Stadium in Eibar, Spain; the second match the Spanish striker is set to miss due to the ban.

On Thursday, Costa decided not to exercise with the group as a possible sign of protest against the sanctioning process that the capital club opened Wednesday against him.

Head coach Diego Simeone explained that it was an internal issue resolved with Costa on Thursday and that Costa was set to return to training as usual, without mentioning any further details.

The Spanish soccer federation's (RFEF) competition committee on Apr. 11 imposed an eight-game ban and a total of 6,010 euros ($6,778) fine on Costa and another 2,800 euros on Atletico Madrid.

Costa was penalized by the referee, Jesus Gil Manzano, in the 28th minute of the 2-0 defeat to the Catalan club after addressing the referee with improper language by insulting Manzano's mother.

According to RFEF, Costa was handed a four-game suspension for insulting the referee, having violated Article 94 of the Disciplinary Code that includes insults, verbal offenses and offensive attitudes.

The Spanish player was given a second four-game suspension as a result of violating Article 96 that includes grabbing, pushing or shaking the referee, due to his behavior with Manzano after receiving the red card in the Camp Nou stadium.

"Once expelled, still in the field of play, (he/Costa) grabbed me several times by the arm in order to prevent me from showing the warning cards to both teammates 24 (Jose Maria Jimenez) and 2 (Diego Godin), respectively," Manzano said.

RFEF on Apr. 12 rejected an appeal from Atletico, refusing to reduce the sanction, saying that it "shares the assessment" of the competition committee that punished Costa for the altercation with Manzano.

Barring a successful appeal to the administrative report, Costa will miss the rest of the current La Liga campaign and the first match of next season.

The roaster, which is to be announced later Friday, will not include Costa or France forward Antoine Griezmann (over yellow card accumulation) and Montenegro defender Stefan Savic, who is still recovering from a muscle injury. EFE

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