Madrid: Brazil defender Roberto Carlos has denied making an assault on the referee during Saturday’s friendly international against Portugal.
The Real Madrid full-back was sent off in the 82nd minute of his country’s 2-1 defeat after appearing to shoulder charge Israeli referee Alon Yefet in protest over the award of a free kick to Portugal.
Spanish newspapers have speculated that Carlos could be given a worldwide ban that would stop him from playing for Real Madrid, as well as for Brazil, but the player defended his actions after arriving back in Spain.
“I didn’t see it as an act of aggression,” he said in an interview with Spanish sports daily Marca on Monday.
“Like a lot of players, I was saying to the referee that the free kick looked a bit harsh. It may have been that I was a bit heated but I never went to push him or to head-butt him.
“I’ve never attacked anyone, whether a rival player or a referee, in any game I’ve played. Those who know me know that I respect fair play. I’ve been around long enough to know what’s an act of aggression.”
On the possibility of suspension from Fifa, he added: “I’m calm and I’m confident this won’t be turned into a big drama.”
World soccer’s governing body have handed out worldwide bans to players involved in clear acts of aggression against referees.
In a recent high-profile case, Portugal midfielder Joao Pinto was suspended from all matches for four months for punching Argentine referee Angel Sanchez in the stomach in a World Cup match against South Korea last year.