REUTERS - Coach Alexis Garcia of Colombian side Independiente Santa Fe has been suspended for three matches for deliberately poking a ball boy in the eye during a first division match at Atletico Nacional.
The referee missed the incident in the 82nd minute of Sunday’s game in Medellin when the manager became irritated by the eagerness the ball boys showed in putting the ball back in play every time it went out as Nacional fought for an equaliser.
League organisers Dimayor said in a statement announcing the punishment, which included a fine of 2.7 million Colombian pesos ($883), that “Garcia in his public position as Independiente Santa Fe’s coach is meant to set an example”.
The former Nacional and Colombia midfielder said he had merely pointed towards the ball boy to draw the referee’s attention to him.
“I stuck out my hand and the kid came (at me) with his face,” Garcia said.
Sante Fe won the game 1-0.
($1 = 3,057 Colombian pesos)
Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Tony Jimenez