NEW YORK - Mexico coach Javier Aguirre has been banned for three matches by regional football body CONCACAF after clashing with Panama midfielder Ricardo Phillips during their Gold Cup group match. Ten minutes from the end of the 1-1 draw, Aguirre left his technical area and stuck his foot out in front of the player just as the ball crossed the touchline. The Mexican coach's foot appeared to make contact with Phillips, who reacted angrily, prompting a fracas on the field and crowd trouble in the stands. The match was stopped for 12 minutes until order was restored. CONCACAF ruled that while "Aguirre was not attempting to injure Phillips, he did leave his designated area to engage in activities that resulted in contact and instigated the incident." Aguirre's suspension will see him miss Mexico's final Gold Cup group game Sunday against Guadeloupe and effectively sideline him until the final on July 26 at Giants Stadium in New York -- should the team make it that far. Any remaining games would be served during World Cup qualifying, CONCACAF said. The governing body also fined the Mexican Football Federation $25,000 for the team bench's participation in the fracas.
12 July 2009
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