RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao is facing a potential six-match ban from his country's sports justice tribunal (STJD) for pulling his own shirt in an apparent attempt to win a penalty.
The Santos forward tugged his shirt as he ran forward at a corner kick during Sunday's 3-0 loss to Criciuma and although the referee did not see the incident, the tribunal brought charges of unsportsmanlike behaviour after viewing video evidence.
The STJD said on Thursday night it was considering if the Brazil international had made an "attempt to dupe the referee" and considering a maximum six-game ban.
After viewing the match footage the tribunal's prosecutor Paulo Schmitt stated the forward looked to have displayed an "attitude contravening sporting discipline and ethics," while decrying a "terrible piece of play acting".
Leandro told Brazilian television after the game "I wasn't play acting - I just wanted to pull my shirt a bit as it was sticking to me." He added that he had not appealed for a foul against him.
But the STJD remained unimpressed.
"These days, referees are too much criticised for supposed mistakes they make in some games.
"But the athletes are the first ones not to help the referee, as in this case where the player accused clearly simulates a pull on his shirt in the opponents' penalty area," a statement read.