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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 10:20 GMT 11:20 UK
Totti ban confirmed
Italy's Francesco Totti
Totti was tight-lipped after leaving the hearing
Italy have said they will not appeal against Francesco Totti's three-game suspension for spitting.

Totti will miss his side's next two Group C matches against Sweden and Bulgaria as well as the quarter-finals should the Italians qualify.

The 27-year-old was charged with gross unsporting misconduct after spitting at Denmark's Christian Poulsen.

He was widely criticised by players and fans, and Totti has had little sympathy from the Italian media and public.

After Uefa handed him his ban on Thursday, a spokesman warned: "We won't tolerate this kind of behaviour."

I give a full public apology
Francesco Totti
Given the opportunity to explain his actions during a three-hour hearing in Lisbon's Hotel Meridien, Totti admitted the offence.

"I am very distraught at what has happened," he said.

"I don't recognise myself from the images that were shown.

"I give a full public apology and I would like to make it clear that the true Francesco Totti is not the one on the video."

Totti, who was booked in injury time for a high tackle on Danish defender Rene Henriksen.

The Danish Football Association made an official complaint to Uefa after images of the incident were picked up by Danish television and had originally pushed for a four-match suspension.

Italy brought in top lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Mario Gallavotti to defend Totti, arguing that the player had been provoked by Poulsen.

But Uefa's six-man disciplinary committee - led by Spain's Joseph Louis Vilaseca - found Totti guilty.

Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni is expected to move Alessandro Del Piero into Totti's role and promote Roma youngster Antonio Cassano into the starting line-up as a striker alongside Christian Vieri.

In November, Lazio's Sinisa Mihajlovic was suspended for eight matches by Uefa's disciplinary committee after being sent off against Chelsea in a Champions League match.

He spat at and kicked Chelsea players during his side's 4-0 home defeat and was also guilty of "improper conduct" towards a Uefa official.

The spitting incident had echoes of the ugly clash at the 1990 World Cup between Dutch midfielder Frank Rijkaard and Rudi Voeller of Germany.

Rijkaard spat at Voeller as he ran past the German striker and the two became embroiled in an altercation which ended with both being sent off.

Links to more Italy stories



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