Sydney FC defender Tiago Calvano will miss eight A-League matches after being charged with unsporting conduct towards a match official.

Sydney FC defender Tiago Calvano has been hit with an eight-game A-League ban for making contact with a referee.

The Brazilian was charged with “unsporting conduct towards a match official” over an incident involving referee Peter Green in the Sky Blues’ round-five win over Melbourne Victory.

On Thursday, the Football Federation Australia Disciplinary Committee headed by chairman John Marshall finally announced their decision, meaning Calvano will be unavailable until late January.

If the off-contract Calvano receives a direct red card for any other offence during the current 2013/14 A-League season he will receive a further ban of four matches.

Calvano’s extended absence is likely to give former Brisbane Roar defender Matt Jurman the chance to establish himself in Sydney’s line-up.

Chief executive Tony Pignata said in a statement that Sydney FC accepted Calvano’s ban but insisted his actions were “in no way malicious”.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose Tiago for eight games but we accept the decision of the disciplinary committee,” Pignata said.

“In hindsight Tiago admits he made a wrong decision and accepts his punishment. However we still believe what he did was in no way malicious.

“He is a passionate man by his nature and plays the game in that way.

Calvano is next available for Sydney FC’s round 16 match against Melbourne Victory on Australia Day at Etihad Stadium.