Iranian football club Esteghlal FC has been ordered to pay fines totaling $51,000 over the misconduct of its spectators who flashed laser beams at opposing players and the referee during two recent matches.
The Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) disciplinary committee also said Wednesday that if there are further similar breaches over the next two years, Esteghlal FC will be forced to play a home game in an empty stadium.
The AFC said home fans at Azadi Stadium in Tehran on Feb. 7, in addition to flashing the lasers, also threw projectiles on to the field, which caused explosions during a 0-0 draw with Al-Sadd of Qatar, a qualifying match for the Asian Champions League.
It said Esteghlal FC fans also flashed lasers during the club’s 2-0 win in an ACL match in Tehran on March 13 against Lokomotiv of Uzbekistan. Esteghlal leads the group with two wins from two matches.
In other sanctions announced Wednesday, the AFC said it banned four players and three officials from the Lebanon beach soccer team from football-related activity over varying periods after they were found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute a violent episode following their semifinal match against UAE earlier this month.
Ahmed Grada, a player, was banned for three years from all football-related activities for hitting a UAE official in the head with the lid of a portable cooler, causing significant injury.
The team physio Youssef Zeineddine was banned for two years from all football-related activities for holding and punching the AFC’s match commissioner in a bid to seize the official’s mobile phone, and team manager Khaled Berjaui was banned for a year for using abusive language and for pushing the AFC tournament director.
Two other players were sanctioned for holding and using and using excessive force against the match commissioner in a bit to seize his mobile phone, another was banned for six months for provoking members of the opposition team into a heated argument that resulted in violence, and the team coach Alex Domingos Brag was banned for a month for failing to dissipate his team following the post-match incident.
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