TURIN, Italy — Italy forward Graziano Pelle has been removed from the team’s squad for refusing to shake coach Gian Piero Ventura’s hand after a substitution.

The incident occurred Thursday in the second half of Italy’s 1-1 draw with Spain in a World Cup qualifier.

The Italian soccer federation says Pelle has been sent back to his club in China, Shandong Luneng, and will therefore miss Sunday’s qualifier at Macedonia.

Pelle apologized on Instagram for the incident, describing his behavior as “unacceptable” and adding that “it’s fair that I take responsibility for what happened.”