RFEF dismisses Diego Simeone's appeal against three-match ban

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is set to serve this three-match touchline ban after the Spanish football association dismissed his appeal on Thursday.

Simeone was sent to the stands during Saturday's 1-0 victory over Malaga after a second ball was thrown onto the field.

The Atletico boss 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 RFEF announced that he will be suspended for three games.

The rule states: "In the case that the referee cannot identify 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."

The RFEF Appeals Committee confirmed the punisment on Thursday, saying Atletico did not provide proof of who threw the ball before the original ruling.

The club can now appeal to the Administrative Court for Sport.

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 will be able to be in the dugout for Atletico's Champions Leg semifinal second leg against Bayern Munich on Wednesday.