Veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is facing the prospect of a one-match ban after allegedly using a blasphemous expression during a match with Parma last month.
The former Italy international, who turns 43 on Thursday, apparently used the offensive phrase 'Porco Dio!' when reproaching midfielder Manolo Portanova during Juve's 4-0 win at Parma on December 19.
The Italian expression, which roughly translates to English as 'God is a pig', has left the veteran goalkeeper in hot water.
A 'Blasphemy Law' introduced in Italy in 2010 has caught out several football stars after they expressed frustration on the pitch. Blasphemy is considered by many Italians as the worst form of swearing.
The Italian Football Association opened an investigation in the aftermath of the game and confirmed on Tuesday they had passed the case on to the country's federal court.
Buffon, who has featured in only six Juventus games this season, is likely to be suspended for one match.
He reportedly told 21-year-old Portanova 'I want to see you stay there, running and suffering' before allegedly using the offensive phrase.
The keeper then added: 'I don't care about anything else.'
In December 2020, Roma midfielder Bryan Cristante received a one-match ban for using a blasphemous phrase during a 5-1 win over Bologna that was picked up by television camera.
With stadiums empty amid the Covid-19 pandemic, such words and phrases are more easily picked up by the microphones.
In 2019, Sassuolo player Francesco Magnanelli and Parma's Matteo Scozzarella, now at Monza, were also punished for a similar offence.
And in 2018, Juventus player Rolando Mandragora was also penalised under the blasphemy laws.