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Dario Lezcano of Lucerne banned 8 matches for assaulting referee

Lucerne forward Dario Lezcano can appeal his suspension.

BERN, Switzerland -- The Swiss Football League has banned Lucerne forward Dario Lezcano for eight matches after he assaulted a referee who sent him off.

Lezcano, a 25-year-old from Paraguay, used his forehead to lightly touch the face of referee Fedayi San who had shown him a second yellow card.

The player then pushed the referee's chest, knocking the red card out of his hand.

The incident happened in the 88th minute of a 3-3 draw with Grasshoppers on Sept. 13.

Imposing the ban on Thursday, the league said in a statement that "respect for referees is a fundamental part of the game."

Lezcano, who is playing his eighth season in Switzerland, can appeal the sanction.

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