AFC punish Champs League brawlers

Assistant coach and forward banned for six matches after brawl during the ACL semi-final loss to Al Sadd.

    Suwon players were infuriated when Al Sadd striker Mamadou Niang scored the 81st-minute goal, resulting in ugly scuffles between players and staff [AFP]

    Suwon Bluewings assistant coach Ko Jong-su and forward Stevica Ristic have been banned for six matches for their involvement in an ugly brawl during the Asian Champions League loss to Al Sadd, the Asian Football Confederation said on Tuesday.

    Al Sadd goalkeeping coach Suhail Saber Ali has also been suspended for six matches for the violence which halted play for more than 10 minutes of the first leg of the semi-final on October 19 that the Qataris won 2-0.

    In some of the worst scenes in Asia's premier club tournament, players were seen kicking at each other, while numerous fights broke out across the field after Al Sadd striker Mamadou Niang's controversial second goal.

    Poor spirit

    Moments before Niang's strike, Suwon had allowed the ball to go out of play to let one of their players get treatment for a head injury in the Al Sadd area.

    Al Sadd restarted and broke quickly to score as Suwon players walked slowly back to their positions believing their team mate was still being treated.

    Furious at what they claimed was unsporting behaviour in failing to return the ball, Suwon players and coaching staff protested to the referee before remonstrating with their Qatari opponents as the trouble flared.

    Supporters showed their anger at the goal by throwing objects on to the field during the fights with one fan running on to the pitch.

    Three players, Ristica and Al Sadd's Kader Keita and Niang were then sent off and the trio missed Wednesday's return leg in Doha which Suwon won 1-0 to lose the tie 2-1 on aggregate.

    Al Sadd play Jeonbuk Motors in the final on Saturday and the AFC said Keita and Niang would be eligible for the match having served their suspensions in the second leg of the semi-final. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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