Quintero ban reduced to four matches

MEXICO CITY - Santos Laguna's Colombian striker Darwin Quintero's six-game ban for violent conduct has been reduced to four matches, the Mexican Football Federation (Femexfut) said on Friday

The Femexfut's disciplinary committee, which handed Quintero a six-match suspension on Monday, reduced the sanction on appeal from Santos.

"After analysing the evidence supplied by the club, in the second sanction it is clear the hit made by Darwin Quintero is not violent so it is reduced to one match (from three)," Femexfut said in a statement.

Quintero had been given two bans of three matches each after being sent off in the 71st minute of Santos' 3-0 win over Cruz Azul last Saturday when he headbutted opponent Christian Gimenez.

The 23-year-old said he had reacted to being racially abused by Rogelio Chavez, an accusation the Cruz Azul defender has denied.

Quintero will miss four of the remaining five matches in the round-robin phase of the Clausura championship including Saturday's visit to title holders Monterrey, returning against Estudiantes UAG on April 29.

Santos have also lost goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez, a 37-year-old veteran of three World Cups, for the rest of the season with a broken toe following an accident at his home, the team's coach Diego Cocca told reporters.

Santos, runners-up to Monterrey in the Apertura in the first half of the season, are fifth in Group One, 10 points adrift of leaders Tigres UANL and seven behind Monterrey.

The top two teams in each of the three groups plus the next two best-placed teams in the overall standings go through to the knockout phase.