Brazil and Real Madrid defender Roberto Carlos has been banned for three international matches for pushing a referee, world football’s governing body FIFA has confirmed.

Carlos was banned following his dismissal for pushing Israeli referee Alon Yefet in Brazil’s s’ 2-1 defeat to Portugal on March 29.

The full-back was dismissed after disputing the award of a free kick to Portugal.

The punishment could be construed as lenient given the precendent set last year when Joao Pintio was sent off for a similar offence. The Portuguese striker was handed a six-month worldwide ban by FIFA.