Inter coach Jose Mourinho has received a three-game touchline ban and been fined 40,000 euros after strongly criticising officials, while four of his playing squad were also hit with disciplinary action.
Mourinho made a "handcuffs" gesture and insulted the officials at half-time after seeing Inter's Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba sent off and Samuel Eto'o booked in the 0-0 draw against Sampdoria on Saturday.
The gesture has been interpreted as a way of suggesting his side have been victimised by referees in Serie A.
Samuel and Cordoba were both dismissed in the first half of the match, while Eto'o was booked for allegedly diving.
When Eto'o received the yellow card, Mourinho burst out laughing and made the "handcuffs" gesture in front of photographers and TV cameras.
Mourinho - who has had two one-game bans already this season after being sent off - did not speak to the media post-match as the club imposed a press blackout.
The Lega Calcio's disciplinary committee said the punishment came after Mourinho had "repeatedly challenged the officials, especially by mimicking handcuffs with his wrists and arms crossed, and faced the crowds and television cameras... Also, he insulted the referee and his assistants in the tunnel and also repeatedly insulted officials."
Reports in Italy suggested referees were prepared to go on strike if Mourinho was not given a severe punishment.
"Each time there are over-the-top gestures or comments it creates exasperation," Italian Football Federation (FIGC) President Giancarlo Abete told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"This is a delicate phase of the season, we need respect for everyone else because over-excited football is no good."
Defenders Samuel and Cordoba received one-game bans for their dismissals but their Inter team-mates Esteban Cambiasso and Sulley Muntari were given two-match bans for off-the-field incidents in the fiery encounter.
Cambiasso was punished for trying to punch an opposition player in the tunnel at half-time, while Muntari swore at the fourth official.
Sampdoria striker Giampoalo Pazzini, who was also sent off late on, has a one-game ban.
Inter, who have confirmed they will appeal Mourinho, Cambiasso and Muntari's bans, face Udinese, Genoa and Catania in their next three Serie A games.
Source: Sky Sports