Buffon fined for blasphemy in Italy

Buffon fined for blasphemy in Italy

Italian veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has been fined €5,000 for blasphemy by the Italian Football Federation.

The 43-year-old Italian World Cup winner, who escaped a ban on the offense, was overheard with a "blasphemous expression" against fellow player Manolo Portanova during Juve's 4-0 win over Parma on December 19.

Buffon, who holds the record for Serie A matches played with 653 to date, was not caught on camera but there was an audio recording of the incident.

Since 2010, the Italian FA has taken disciplinary action against several players and coaches heard disrespecting God or the sacred. But the penalties have increased this season with empty stadiums allowing the microphones and cameras to capture heated exchanges between players and coaches.

The Italian federation is also probing an altercation between Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku and AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the pitch in January, and Inter coach Antonio Conte and Juve president Andre Agnelli on the sidelines of an Italian Cup game last week.

In Italy, blasphemy is considered among the worst type of swearing. The issue is being raised more frequently with games played behind closed doors and remarks picked up on pitchside microphones.

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