Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone given three-match touchline ban

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has been given a three-match touchline ban after a second ball was thrown onto the field during Saturday's 1-0 victory over Malaga.

Simeone was sent to the stands after the incident at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, which occurred during a Malaga counter-attack when the score was still 0-0.

Simeone said after the match that the ball had been thrown by "a kid who was beside us," but he bore ultimate responsibility for the incident under La Liga rules and the Spanish FA (RFEF) announced on Wednesday that he will be suspended for three games.

A statement said the three-game ban had been applied with reference to article 101.2 of the RFEF's Disciplinary Code, which reads: "In the case that the referee cannot identity directly the person responsible [for throwing the ball onto the pitch], the first-team coach of that person's club will be punished with a ban of at least three games."

Simeone was also fined €3,005 (£2,330) and Atletico were fined €1,050 (£815).

Atletico have only three league games remaining this season, against Rayo Vallecano, Levante and Celta Vigo, and are currently level on points with leaders Barcelona, who have the edge on head-to-head record.

Simeone said in his postmatch news conference on Saturday: "It's clear that the referee took the correct decision, following the rules. He did what he had to do, sending off the coach. It was a kid who was beside us, but that does not change anything."

He added that he had sent on match-winner Angel Correa as the result of being banished from the dugout.

"You see things differently from higher up," he said. "I was right to think about Correa, I saw that well."