ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ FIFA banned Algeria's Abdelmalek Cherrad on Tuesday for four matches for insulting a referee during an African World Cup qualifying match against Gabon.

Cherrad was ejected from Algeria's loss on Sept. 5 and was sanctioned for ``using offensive language against one of the referees,'' FIFA spokesman Andreas Herren said.

The 23-year-old striker, who has scored three goals in the current World Cup qualifying campaign, was also fined $6,700. His ban begins with a match at Rwanda on Saturday.

Algeria is in last place in the group with just two points from four matches. Nigeria leads with nine points.

It's not the first time Cherrad has gotten into trouble this year.

French club Nice dismissed him in April after he disappeared for nearly a month with his wife and child after a dispute with his brothers. He was later reinstated at Nice, but was loaned to Tunisia's Esperance before being sold to Belgian club Ghent.