Monaco's Gelson Martins suspended six-months for pushing referee

Monaco's Gelson Martins has been slapped with a six-month suspension for pushing a referee during a 3-1 Ligue 1 loss at Nimes last month.

The 24-year-old Portugal international shoved referee Mikael Lesage after teammate Tiemoue Bakayoko was dismissed for a dangerous tackle in the 32nd minute. He then followed it up with an even stronger push after he too had been shown a red card.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel's (LFP) disciplinary committee deemed Martins' action "brutality" and justified provisionally suspending the former Sporting and Atletico Madrid because of the nature of the incident.

"After examining the file and hearing the player, the commission has decided to sanction Gelson Martins with a closed six-month ban," the LFP statement read. "This decision is effective from February 6."

Consequently, Martins will not be able to play domestic football again until Ligue 1 resumes in August. His suspension almost certainly rules him out of contention for Euro 2020 as well.

Martins, for his part, took to social media shortly after the incident to apologise to Lesage and admit to his error, while Monaco vice-president Oleg Petrov told a press conference that the player would be "severely sanctioned" by the club.

Coach Robert Moreno's men are currently seventh in the Ligue 1 table and six points behind the potential continental competition qualification places.

Martins contributed four goals and one assist from 23 appearances across all competitions this season. And while Monaco stated their belief that his previous good disciplinary record should have counted in his favour, they once again condemned his "unjustifiable behaviour."

The Stade Louis II-based side also called the decision "a very heavy sanction" and "excessive" in length.

Despite that, Monaco did not indicate that they will appeal the ban.