Monaco's Nabil Dirar ban extended to eight games over referee clash

Monaco midfielder Nabil Dirar will be out of action until April after his ban for an altercation with a referee was extended to eight matches.

Dirar, 30, was sent off shortly after half-time in Monaco's 1-0 derby win over Nice last month and he got into further trouble after leaning his head in towards referee Tony Chapron.

Dirar has already missed four games after he was provisionally suspended by the French league's disciplinary committee over the incident, during which he aggressively screamed in the match official's face.

Following the latest meeting of Ligue 1's disciplinary body on Thursday evening, however, it was decided that the final punishment should be extended to a total of eight games.

Dirar has already missed four matches as a result of the original suspension, which was imposed on Feb. 11.

Monaco responded on Friday by saying that the club "deeply regretted" the severity of the decision.

A statement published on Monaco's official website said the sanction was "heavy and excessive" for a player who had shown "exemplary behaviour" during five seasons at the club.

"The club of course condemns the behaviour of its player but cannot help having the feeling of being punished in an excessive manner," the statement read. "The club reserves the right to use the means necessary to obtain a reduction in the sanction."

Monaco are currently second in Ligue 1, 23 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain and eight ahead of Lyon.

They must now make do without Dirar for Friday's match against Caen as well as further games against Reims, PSG and Bordeaux.

The former Club Brugge player will become available for selection again for Monaco's matchday 33 trip to Lille on the second weekend of April.