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Chivu banned for punch

Inter defender Cristian Chivu has been handed a four-match ban after punching an opponent during Thursday's 3-0 victory over Bari.

• Blog: Chivu's boxing day

Chivu struck Bari's Marco Rossi in the second half but referee Andrea Romeo and his assistants missed the incident and no action was taken.

After the matter was reviewed by the authorities, though, he has been issued with a suspension.

"It is difficult to explain," Chivu told Sky Sport Italia after the game. "I am here because I want to apologise to Rossi, with all the dignity that I have left.

"I apologise to everyone, above all my two children, who one day will watch this clip."

Inter president Massimo Moratti added: "We are very sorry about it. We're sorry for Marco Rossi and we apologise together with Chivu.

"We feel sorry for him, too, as this is the first time anything like this has happened. Chivu is a great lad and showed that by apologising at the end of the match. I repeat, we are very sorry; it was a fit of rage that he can't explain either."

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