Soccer-Chiellini World Cup place at risk over elbowing


TURIN, May 12 (Reuters) - Italy and Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini was banned for three matches for elbowing on Monday, leaving him in danger of being left out of his country's World Cup squad for indiscipline.

Serie A's disciplinary tribunal said Chiellini had been guilty of elbowing AS Roma's Miralem Pjanic in an off-the-ball incident during Juve's 1-0 win at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.

The tribunal used video evidence to make the decision as the incident was not seen by the referee.

Chiellini will now have to wait to see if the incident will affect his World Cup chances.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has implemented a strict code of ethics since taking over in 2010 and has dropped a number of players for similar incidents in club games.

Roma striker Mattia Destro, banned for four matches for elbowing an opponent in April, was the latest victim when he missed out on two days of Italy fitness tests in April.

Prandelli warned at the time: "Anyone who messes around will stay at home, because it will mean that they can't handle the pressure of a World Cup."

Chiellini has been the linchpin of the Italy defence since Fabio Cannavaro quit international football after the 2010 World Cup and has won many admirers at home and abroad for his never-say-die attitude. (Reporting By Brian Homewood, editing by Mark Meadows)

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