World football’s governing body Fifa has suspended Benin’s Khaled Adenon from all football for one year after the defender attacked a referee.
The incident came when Benin drew a 2014 World Cup qualifier in Rwanda in June this year.
Adenon, whose ban extends to his French club Le Mans, was sent off in the closing minutes of a game that ended 1-1.
In a statement, Le Mans has said it will contest the decision.
“The club will defend its interests in order not to suffer from a sanction concerning an international match and not the club itself,” the French second division side said on its website.
The 27-year-old has been a regular for Le Mans in recent seasons, playing 30 times in the French second division last year.
During that time, he amassed 13 yellow cards and two red cards.
However, his dismissal at the end of June’s Group H qualifier in Kigali has proved costly.
With the Squirrels leading 1-0 late on, Adenon was incensed when the Ethiopian referee awarded hosts Rwanda a penalty with four minutes left.
The defender assaulted the referee and even though he was shown a red card, he had to be escorted from the pitch by police.
His 12-month ban means he is set to sit out the entire second division season in France and three of Benin’s four remaining World Cup qualifiers.
He will miss two matches against Algeria, and one against Mali, in 2013 but could return for a potentially decisive clash at home to Rwanda in September 2013.
Benin, who have never qualified for a World Cup before, currently lead Group H of Africa’s World Cup qualifying with four points.
Both Algeria and Mali boast three points apiece, while Rwanda are bottom of the group with just one point from their two games so far.