Sunday January 23 2011
Zarate hits linesman in Dall'Ara brawl

Mauro Zarate risks a lengthy ban after a brawl in Bologna-Lazio that saw him punch a referee's assistant and allegedly spit in an opponent's face.

There had already been a scuffle a few minutes earlier that saw Andre Dias sent off and Henry Gimenez red carded from the Bologna bench.

However, at the final whistle a brawl broke out on the touchline with Zarate at the centre of it. The video footage shows he threw the ball at Matteo Rubin's head, then got into a shoving match with two opponents.

He tried to swing a punch at Albin Ekdal, but accidentally caught the linesman on the side of the head.

“Zarate also spat at Rubin,” claimed Bologna Coach Alberto Malesani.

“Gaston Ramirez needs x-rays for a fractured cheekbone from Dias in the first half. Diego Perez reacted to defend his teammate, 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.”

It has been a very rough month for Bologna, who were docked three points for financial irregularities and this week saw new President Massimo Zanetti resign.

“The Devil himself could come here to be President, but the players would have the same strength of character.”