Fiorentina angry after failing in appeal over Mauro Zarate suspension

Fiorentina have hit out at the Lega Serie A decision to uphold the three-game ban handed out to Mauro Zarate for a recent red card.

The Viola contested the punishment after forward Zarate was sent off in the 2-1 win over Inter Milan on Feb. 14.

He was shown a straight red card after an off-the-ball incident with Jeison Murillo, but Fiorentina said he had been provoked and his ban should have been reduced.

But the Serie A court of appeal ruled against them, and a club statement said: "We have taken note of this decision with shock and anger.

"The appeal made by Fiorentina is based on the correct interpretation of the referee's report of the game, which in view of similar and perhaps more severe incidents -- in our view -- had seen appeals lead to a consequent reduction of a three-game ban into a two-game one.

"Zarate's gesture was down to the provocation, verbal and physical, of no fewer than four opposition players who surrounded him, pushing and shoving him, so much so the linesman had to intervene to protect our player.

"His reaction should have been considered in the context it was in, in a moment of intense emotion. We therefore feel that the sanction on Zarate is absolutely excessive."

Zarate sits out Fiorentina's important clash with Roma this weekend.

The two sides are level on points in the race for third position and a place in the Champions League next season.