Asian Football Confederation suspends five over recent brawl

AFP, Saturday 22 Oct 2011

Asia's football body has ordered one-match suspensions and may take further action against three players and two coaches involved in a brawl that marred a regional Champions League semi-final

 Al Sadd
A Suwon Bluewings player fly kicks an Al-Sadd player (Photo: Reuters)

Wednesday's game, one of Asia's biggest club matches, between South Korea's Suwon Bluewings and Qatar's Al Sadd was temporarily halted as both teams traded punches in an ugly late-game melee.

The Asian Football Confederation said it had banned Suwon Bluewings player Stevica Ristic and coach Ko Jong-Su from the second-leg match in Doha on Wednesday.

Al Sadd players Kader Keita and Mamadou Niang and goalkeeper coach Suhail Saber Ali also received the one-match suspensions, the AFC said in a statement late Friday.

The AFC said it had also opened further proceedings against the five, which will be referred to its disciplinary committee.

The violence erupted late in the second half after Niang raced through for his breakaway second goal while much of Suwon's team were tending to an injured player. The resulting pushing and shoving degenerated into an all-out brawl.

Al Sadd won the match 2-0.

It has been a difficult year for Asian football after regional soccer chief Mohamed bin Hammam was banned from the sport for offering bribes to FIFA delegates, an accusation he denies.

The Kuala Lumpur-based AFC also has had to contend with match-fixing and betting scandals in China, Malaysia and South Korea.

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