Botafogo midfielder Clarence Seedorf was likely to receive a six-match ban after a Brazilian sports tribunal launched an investigation into an incident that led to his stoppage-time dismissal on Sunday.
Seedorf was shown consecutive yellow cards after arguing with referee Philip Georg Bennett over where to leave the pitch when substituted during Botafogo's 2-1 victory over Madureira.
The Sports Justice Tribunal of Rio de Janeiro announced the investigation on Monday after reviewing Bennett's report card.
"As the report says, Seedorf showed a lack of respect to the referee. He will be charged under article 243 for offending the referee's honor," prosecutor Andre Luiz Valentim said.
"The punishment could be up to six matches as well as a 50,000 US-dollar fine."
Botafogo general executive Anibal Rouxinol said the former Dutch international strenuously denied the referee's claims.
He said the club would base its defence on the fact midfielder Cidinho, not Seedorf, was the player substituted by Botafogo coach Oswaldo de Oliveira when the incident took place.
After the match Seedorf said said he "didn't understand anything" about the referee's decision.
The red card was just the second of the 36-year-old's 21-year professional career. The first was while playing for AC Milan during an Italian Serie A match against Messina in April 2006.