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Gattuso charged after Jordan fracas

AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has been charged with gross unsporting conduct, UEFA has announced.

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Gattuso, the Milan captain on the night, clashed with Tottenham coach Joe Jordan during Spurs' 1-0 Champions League win at the San Siro, and is now set to be punished by UEFA - with a lengthy ban likely.

UEFA's control and disciplinary body will discuss the case against the 33-year-old Italian on February 21.

Former Rangers midfielder Gattuso, who was booked during the match and also clashed repeatedly with Tottenham striker Peter Crouch, headbutted Jordan before being led away.

Gattuso had already been cautioned in the game for a rash challenge on Steven Pienaar, after which the Italian repeatedly hit the turf in anger. That booking ensured that Gattuso will serve a one-game suspension, missing the second leg at White Hart Lane on March 9. But that ban is certain to be extended when UEFA discuss the case.

Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has appealed for leniency from the governing body. He said: "What he did was an unpleasant episode that was not good, but he was heavily provoked. Of course you should not react like that but do not condemn everything.

"Gattuso has played 104 games in Europe and has been sent off once, in 2003 after a clash with [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, who is now his team-mate. In 25 years, since [Silvio] Berlusconi became president of the company, Milan's conduct has been exemplary.''

Galliani added: "We are not thinking of stripping the vice-captaincy from Gattuso.''

UEFA rules stipulate a minimum three-match ban for assault, although the governing body have the power to dole out lengthier suspensions in exceptional cases.

Gattuso's agent Claudio Pasqualin has since stated that Jordan had used provocative language towards the midfielder prior to their clash. However, Spurs have declined to make an official comment on his claims.

Gattuso later apologised for his actions, saying: "I lost control. There is no excuse for what I did. I take my responsibilities for that.

"I didn't want to argue with players and I did it with him, but I was wrong to do what I have done.''

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