Simeone backs Costa after striker misses Atletico practice

Costa refuses to train after club fine him for verbal outburst- reports

Diego Costa has refused to train this Thursday according to AS.

The news comes a week after Costa was slapped with an eight-match ban by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for insulting and grabbing referee Gil Manzano during the first half of Atletico's 2-0 defeat to Barcelona on April 6. Costa's representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

The referee Gil Manzano in his match report stressed that Costa twice said to him "I s*** on you w**** mother" with video evidence against the striker.

It was at that point then that the Spanish global decided not to head for training despite being fully fit.

The result of the punishment is that he will play no part in the rest of the season.

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Atleti general manager Clemente Villaverde criticised the forward's behaviour afterwards, as "reprehensible and seriously damaged the club".

When pushed on whether or not Costa would be punished for his refusal to train, Simeone refused to be drawn into discussions about club matters.

"Costa is an animal who can do things that make us suffer, like what happened at the Nou Camp when we really needed him", Simeone told Goal.com in an interview published on Thursday.

The player's long-term future at the club was unclear before the incident, with Diego Simeone preferring Alvaro Morata since his move from Chelsea.

Atletico is nine points behind leader Barcelona with six matches remaining.

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