Joao Pinto suspended for punching referee

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:27 IST

FIFA suspends Portugal's Joao Pinto to await a definitive punishment for punching the referee during a World Cup match against South Korea last week.

Joao Pinto suspended for punching referee
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Seoul:

FIFA today suspended Portugal's Joao Pinto to await a definitive punishment for punching the referee during a World Cup match against South Korea last week. A FIFA statement released after a special disciplinary committee meeting in Seoul said there was strong evidence to show that Pinto had struck Argentinian referee Angel Sanchez in a melee after being shown a red card. Joao Pinto "has been provisionally suspended for all match activity until such time when the FIFA disciplinary committee will take a final decision in the matter", the statement said. "Given the serious nature of the offence of which the player is accused and in order to take a decision in full cognizance of all facts, the disciplinary committee has already requested for additional information". The statement said the reports submitted by the referee of the match, the match commissary and the referee inspector indicate that Joao Pinto, when shown the red card, punched referee Angel Sanchez of Argentina in the stomach. "The act of hitting a referee is considered to be a serious violation of the disciplinary code," it stated. Pinto, 30, now faces a lengthy ban from football which could affect his place at the 2004 European championships to be hosted by Portugal, FIFA sources said. Portugal lost the Group D match last Friday 1-0 and crashed out of the World Cup at the end of the first round. (AP)

Topics : Football
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