Soccer-Atalanta's Denis banned for punching rival in dressing-room

MILAN, April 27 (Reuters) - Atalanta forward German Denis has been banned for five matches after he burst into the changing room of opponents Empoli following Sunday's Serie A match and punched defender Lorenzo Tonelli. Serie A's disciplinary tribunal also gave Tonelli a one-match ban for saying he would kill the Argentine player shortly before the incident. "After the match, while still on the playing field, Empoli player Tonelli directed at Denis the seriously intimidating phrase 'I will kill you and your family'," the tribunal said in a statement. "A few minutes later, Denis, together with a team mate, went into the Empoli dressing-room and, as soon as Tonelli approached, hit him with a violent punch in the face." "After evaluating the severity of such violent conduct, which was totally out of order with any competitive context, German Denis is suspended for five games, effective immediately." Denis, nicknamed The Tank, scored an equaliser in the third minute of injury-time to give Atalanta a 2-2 draw in a match between two teams who are just outside the relegation zone. The suspension means that Denis, Atalanta's top scorer with eight goals, will not be available until the last game of the season. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne)