Werder Bremen have confirmed that on-loan Chelsea defender Papy Djilobodji has been suspended by the German Football Association (DFB) for his unsportsmanlike conduct during the 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Mainz on 19 March. The Senegalese centre-back was seen running his index finger across his neck in a gesture missed by referee Manuel Gräfe and seemingly aimed at midfielder Pablo de Blasis after a foul.
Djilobodji, who is set to remain at Weserstadion until May after playing just one minute of English football following a £3m ($4.2m) summer switch from Nantes, looks set to serve a four-game ban that includes an automatic one-match suspension for collecting his fifth yellow card of the season in a different incident.
The German club have confirmed their attention to appeal the decision, however. A statement released via their official website read: "On Tuesday afternoon, Werder have been told by the DFB that Papy Djilobodji has been handed a three-match ban. This would only take effect after he has served his yellow-card suspension. Werder do not agree with this decision and have decided to appeal the decision."
The DFB are believed to have used a previous incident involving Deniz Naki as a guideline when deciding upon a fitting sanction for Djilobodji. Seven years ago, the former FC St Pauli striker was banned for three fixtures after allegedly celebrating a goal against Hansa Rostock with a cut-throat gesture towards opposition supporters. Werder, however, do not agree that their player's actions merit the same level of punishment.
"Papy Djilobodji has been accused of unsportsmanlike conduct. The disciplinary board have made the decision in accordance with the ban they gave to Deniz Naki in 2009."
Chief executive Thomas Eichin added: "We maintain that the ruling of a three-match ban is unjustifiable. Above all, we believe that, under the circumstances, the severity and the wrongdoing in this case was lesser than that of the Deniz Naki case."
14th-place Werder Bremen currently sit just a point above the Bundesliga's relegation play-off position with seven matches left to play in 2015-16. Viktor Skrypnyk's side face a rather daunting trip to Borussia Dortmund next before hosting Augsburg and Wolfsburg.