Marcus Thuram has been given a five-match ban for spitting in his opponent's face during Saturday's match between Borussia Monchengladbach and TSG Hoffenheim, the German FA announced. The France international was also fined €40,000 for the incident which he called "accidental" in an apology issued on social media.
Thuram, 23, saw red in the 78th minute of the 2-1 defeat against Hoffenheim on Saturday after he spat at Stefan Posch. He had already been fined a month's wages by Borussia Monchengladbach and on Monday the German FA's sports court hit Thuram with a five-match ban for "violent conduct" with a further one-match ban on parole.
The sports court did not mention the coronavirus pandemic in their ruling. Ahead of the re-start of the 2019-2020 Bundesliga season during the pandemic in May, Hertha Berlin attacker Salomon Kalou was suspended by his club after broadcasting a livestream showing social distancing measures being flouted.
Thuram will be able to return to the squad for the first match of the second half of the season against Borussia Dortmund on Jan. 22.
Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl on Sunday had said: "Marcus is devasted and has assured me that he did not purposely spit at Stefan Posch. He told me that during a dispute with Stefan Posch, he had unintentionally spat after cursing several times in French in the heat of the moment."
The incident had gone unnoticed on the pitch, but Thuram, the son of France's 1998 World cup winner Lilian Thuram, was sent off following a VAR review. The striker later issued an apology on Twitter.
"I reacted to an opponent in a wrong way and something occurred accidentally and not intentionally. I apologise to everyone, to Stefan Posch, to my opponents, to my teammates, to my family and to all those who saw my reaction," he wrote.