Football: Roma's Edin Dzeko sent off for appearing to spit at referee

Roma striker Edin Dzeko faces a lengthy ban from football, after he was sent off for appearing to spit at the referee during a Coppa Italia match on Thursday (NZ time).

The Bosnian international was shown a straight red card, as Roma lost 7-1 to Fiorentina in the Italian Cup.

Roma were trailing 4-1 with just 18 minutes to go at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence, when Dzeko saw red for what appeared to be dissent towards the referee.

But camera footage from a different angle suggests the 32-year-old spat at referee Gianluca Manganiello, just before the red card was issued.

Introduced as a half-time substitute, he lasted only 25 minutes on the pitch.

While the club are yet to comment on the red card incident, fans say they are disgusted by his actions.

"Despicable behaviour by Edin Dzeko," one Twitter user wrote. "He should be banned for 5-10 matches."

Another user said: "Dzeko got sent off for spitting on the ref. Absolutely abysmal behaviour from a player with so much talent.

"What a shame. Deserved to lose 7-1."

Back in September, Juventus winger Douglas Costa spat at an opposing player and was handed a four-game ban for his conduct.

But as Dzeko appears to have done it to a match official, his punishment may well be a lot more severe.

Newshub.