José Giménez could be handed a 15-match ban by FIFA ©Getty Images

Uruguay's José Giménez could be handed a 15-match ban after he appeared to elbow an official following the country's elimination from the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Uruguayans beat Ghana 2-0 in their final group game but it was not enough as South Korea's late winner over Portugal saw them advance instead.

Several players, including the defender, were incensed by Daniel Siebert's refereeing performance especially after he refused to award La Celeste a late penalty with Edinson Cavani claiming he was brought down illegally in the box.

After the final whistle, Giménez found himself in hot water after elbowing one of the officials in the back of the head as he attempted to confront Siebert.

The victim was not one of the referees but FIFA's competition director.

If the incident is reported and the director is considered as an official of the match then he could face severe sanctions in accordance to Article 12 of FIFA's Disciplinary Code.

If the director is not considered a match official then the punishment could be reduced to a minimum of three matches.

Furthermore, these punishments could also be combined with a further suspension for a verbal attack on the referees which warrants a minimum four-match ban.

"They [the referees] are all a bunch of thieves these sons of bitches," said the 27-year-old.

"Yes, record me.

"Son of a bitch."

It is unclear whether the potential suspension would be limited to international fixtures or if he would miss matches for his club side Atlético Madrid.

When Giménez's compatriot Luis Suárez was banned for three months in 2014, also during the World Cup, FIFA ruled that he could not play for club or country throughout the period.

Giménez's offence also comes with a minimum fine of CHF5,000 (£4,300/$5,300/€5,000) but could well be quadrupled as the incident occurred "on match day in or near the stadium".

insidethegames has contacted FIFA for comment.