Sydney: Australian A-League club Adelaide United on Friday left Brazilian defender Cassio out of their trip to Uzbekistan, fearing he may have put at risk their AFC Champions League opening match.
Cassio failed to serve a one-match suspension for being sent off in the Reds' last ACL match in 2010.
The Brazilian left-back played in an ACL qualifier against Indonesia's Persipura Jayapura two weeks ago, which Adelaide won to advance into the lucrative tournament.
But with Cassio's eligibility for Tuesday's opener against Bunyodkor in doubt, Adelaide said they had opted for an cautious approach by leaving him out of their travelling squad, which leaves Australia on Saturday.
"The club is simply not prepared to put at risk of a potential challenge by Bunyodkor of any result it may achieve on Tuesday night," the club said in a statement on Friday.
"The Champions League is a highly prestigious tournament and Adelaide United would never put at risk the high standing it holds in Asia as the most successful Australian club ever in the competition by playing Cassio and then risking a challenge, which in all likelihood would never be made.
"For this reason alone the club has decided to leave Cassio home."
Adelaide United made the AFC Champions' League final against Japan's Gamba Osaka in 2008, and coach John Kosmina hopes the Asian adventure will be a welcome retreat from the Reds' miserable A-League season where they are currently ninth in the 10-team league.