Robert Pires: Former Arsenal star gets two-match Indian ban

Robert Pires and Arsene Wenger
Robert Pires scored 62 goals in 189 appearances for Arsenal

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has been banned for two games in the Indian Super League after an alleged altercation with an opposing coach.

The 40-year-old, who plays for FC Goa, was reportedly punched by Atletico de Kolkata coach Antonio Lopez Habas at half-time during a match on Thursday.

Habas was banned for four games by the All India Football Federation (AIFF), with both men fined 500,000 (£5,085).

Pires and Habas have four days to submit an appeal.

An AIFF statement failed to clarify the nature of Pires' offence, saying only that the former France international had breached the "All India Football Federation disciplinary code (article 58) of offensive behaviour and fair play", and that Habas had been disciplined for the same reason.

Habas had previously been warned for his behaviour following Atletico's 2-0 win over North East United on 16 October.

There were seven yellow cards in Thursday's match, which Atletico lost 2-1, with Goa coach Zico - the former Brazil midfielder who played at three World Cups - saying afterwards: "Pires said he was punched in the face by the Atletico coach and it is very shameful.

"I don't think that Pires would lie and say something that didn't happen."

Both clubs submitted reports to the league's governing body on Friday.

Pires, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, was a key part of the Arsenal side that went a whole Premier League season unbeaten in 2003-04.

The Indian Super League began its inaugural season on 12 October and consists of eight teams with Kolkata at the top of the table after four games.

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