Referee Juan Luca Sacchi will reportedly be handed a one-match suspension after seemingly refusing to shake the hand of his female assistant referee Francesca Di Monte.

The incident, caught on cameras inside the tunnel ahead of the kick-off on Friday evening, saw Sacchi shake the hands of the two club captains but not his assistant referee.

The 38-year-old referee did a double take when holding out his hand for Di Monte before turning back to Lecce captain Gabriel Strefezza, leaving the assistant referee with a disdainful look on her face.

The incident has caused embarrassment to the AIA – Italian Referees Association – who told ANSA yesterday that it wasn’t any form of sexist discrimination, a statement that failed to convince many onlookers.

Corriere della Sera via TMW details today how Sacchi will now be suspended from action for at least one match, after referee designator Gianluca Rocchi scolded the 38-year-old official in private.

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