An Italian football referee has been banned for one year after head-butting a goalkeeper who argued with him after the match for being sent off.

In a match between Borgo Mogliano and Montottone in Macerata on February 1, the referee Antonio Martiniello had given Borgo Mogliano's goalkeeper Matteo Ciccioli his marching orders as the hosts won 3-1. 

The pair faced off outside the changing room after the game as the goalkeeper sought an explanation for the dismissal. Without warning, the referee head-butted Ciccioli, who was taken to hospital to treat his injuries and later discharged.

The ban means Martiniello will not be allowed to officiate in matches for a year and also will not be able to enter the facilities of teams in the top three tiers of Italian football. He will also have to stay away from matches involving the Italian national side.

Deciding to channel his inner Zinadine Zidane did not work out for the referee as the Macerata police chief claimed that the ban was fully warranted because Martiniello had failed to set a good example for youngsters.

For ​Premier League fans who lament the state of refereeing in the competition, suddenly an awry VAR decision doesn't seem all that bad.