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Jan 23, 2011

Zarate could face ban

The Italian football authorities are expected to look into events at the end of Lazio's 3-1 defeat to Bologna as Mauro Zarate was accused of spitting at an opponent and throwing a punch.

Lazio, who dropped to fourth in the table, saw Andre Dias sent off five minutes from time as a scuffle broke out with the team trailing 2-1. Bologna substitute Henry Gimenez was also sent from the bench.

At the final whistle, Zarate is said to have thrown a ball at opponent Matteo Rubin's head before becoming involved in an altercation. It is claimed he threw a punch at Albin Ekdal but accidentally struck the referee's assistant.

Bologna coach Alberto Malesani said: "Zarate also spat at Rubin. Gaston Ramirez needs X-rays for a fractured cheekbone from Dias in the first half. Diego Perez reacted to defend his team-mate, as did Gimenez before that red card.

"Perhaps Zarate was coming off a period of tension and he even spat at Rubin's face after hitting him with the ball following the final whistle.

"Our Uruguayans are good people and mentally strong. It's not right that all this chaos ruins a great performance and 3-1 victory."

Lazio boss Edy Reja told Sky Sport Italia: "We were provoked in the scuffle surrounding Dias.

"In these situations we should have reacted better as the confusion only helped to serve Bologna late in the game.

"I don't understand why the opposition all had it in for Dias. Having coached him for over a year now I can declare he is not a violent player."

Reja also dismissed speculation Zarate could be set to join Juventus. "Zarate will not be leaving Rome and I can confirm this 200%," he said.

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