Hulk handed four-month suspension

LISBON - Porto striker Hulk has been suspended from domestic competitions for four months for assaulting a match steward in December, the head of the Portuguese league's disciplinary committee said on Friday.

The suspension does not apply to European competitions and Brazilian Hulk is eligible to play in Porto's Champions League last 16 second leg against Arsenal on March 9 after featuring in the side's 2-1 first leg win on Wednesday.

Porto defender Cristian Sapunaru was given a six-month suspension for assaulting two security stewards in the players' tunnel at the end of the same game against Benfica, committee chief Ricardo Costa told a news conference.

"The punishments are exceptionally lower than the legal minimum (of between six months and three years)... because the inquiry concluded that the stewards provoked the players in the tunnel," Costa added.

Both players have already served two months of their penalties, having been suspended since the December 20 match at the Luz Stadium, which Benfica won 1-0.

Sapunaru has since returned to play in his native Romania on loan to Steaua Bucharest.

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