Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico footballers get stiffer sanctions after protest

America's Pablo Aguilar (right) in action against Puebla's Pedro Canelo (left) in Mexico City (11/02/2017) Image copyright EPA
Image caption Pablo Aguilar (right) originally received a 10 match suspension after appearing to head-butt a referee

Mexico's football federation has imposed stiffer sanctions against two players from top flight clubs involved in rows with referees.

They have been suspended for a year, after referees went on strike over the initial bans regarded as too lenient.

Enrique Triverio from Deportivo Toluca and Pablo Aguilar from Club America had received suspensions for eight and 10 matches respectively.

They had pushed and head-butted referees in separate incidents.

In addition to the one-year suspensions, the players will receive a fine.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Triverio originally received an eight week ban for pushing a referee

The referees had reported them for aggression and expected they would be banned for up to a year.

But the football federation only suspended them for a few matches for attempted aggression, provoking the wrath of the referees' association.

After their strike, which led to the cancellation of the weekend's top league football, the federation imposed the longer bans.

Shortly after the new sanctions were announced, the referees said they were ending their strike.

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