Uzbek players banned for deliberate bookings

Uzbek players banned for deliberate bookings

ZURICH - The Associated Press
FIFA has banned five Uzbekistan players from an additional World Cup qualifier after they tried to manipulate their suspensions by getting deliberate yellow cards.

The players will miss the opening match of the next stage of Asian qualifying in June, in addition to sitting out a meaningless qualifier against Japan this month.

FIFA said that it fined each player 3,000 Swiss francs and the Uzbekistan Football Federation 18,000 Swiss francs.

Shavkatjon Mulladjanov, Sanjar Tursunov, Islom Tuhtahujaev, Server Djeparov and Vagiz Galiulin all received yellow cards in earlier qualifiers before being booked again for time-wasting late in a 3-0 win over Tajikistan last November.

Uzbekistan was sure to advance from its group with Japan, and the players hoped to wipe clean their disciplinary records by missing only the match against Japan.

“Between the 70th minute ... and the conclusion of the match, five Uzbekistan players, who had already received one yellow card in previous matches in round three of the (Asian) preliminary competition - were cautioned in separate incidents for deliberately delaying the restart of the match,” FIFA said.

The problem was highlighted in a match between Real Madrid and Ajax in 2010. With Real leading 4-0, coach Jose Mourinho was judged to have sent instructions to Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos to get sent off.

UEFA imposed a one-match touchline ban on Mourinho and fined Madrid 100,000 Euros.