18 Feb 2011

Milan captain dodges assault charge for headbutt

7:41 am on 18 February 2011

The AC Milan football captain Gennaro Gattuso has escaped an assault charge for his headbutt on Tottenham Hotspur assistant coach Joe Jordan after Milan's 1-nil loss in their Champions League last-16 first leg tie at the San Siro on Wednesday.

A UEFA spokesman says the 33-year-old midfielder had been charged with the lesser offence of gross unsporting conduct which, according to UEFA's disciplinary code, carries a suspension for one competition match or for a specified period.

Gattuso will find out the extent of his punishment on Tuesday.

The charge of assault carries a minimum three-match ban and European soccer's governing body also has a provision for serious assault which would carry a minimum five-match suspension.

Gattuso has apologised for what he called inexcusable behaviour.

The former Italy international grabbed Jordan by the throat and pushed him out by the touchline during the 1-nil loss.

Gattuso also headbutted the Spurs assistant coach after the final whistle before being pulled away by team mates.

The Milan player has already been banned from the second leg after picking up a yellow card in Wednesday's match.

Former Scotland striker Jordan, with his trademark missing teeth during his playing days, won a reputation as a hard man in spells with Leeds United, Manchester United and AC Milan.