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Luis Fabiano loses appeal against ban

The former Sevilla striker was shown a red card after insulting Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan at the end of Sao Paulo's 1-1 draw at home to Argentina's Arsenal in a Group Three match on March 7.

"The suspension of four matches is confirmed and a fine of 5,000 U.S. dollars for insulting the match referee, Wilmar Roldan, at the end of match," South American soccer's governing body Conmebol said on its website.

Sao Paulo, who have already played one match since the incident, losing 2-1 to Arsenal in Buenos Aires on March 14, face Bolivia's The Strongest in La Paz on Thursday.

Ronaldinho's Atletico Mineiro, who have won their four matches so far and are away to Arsenal on Wednesday, have already qualified for the knockout phase.

Three times South American champions Sao Paulo are level with Arsenal on four points each with a fight on their hands to take the other berth from their group. The Strongest have three points.

Uruguayan five times champions Penarol's chances of qualifying took a dive in a 2-0 defeat away to Emelec of Ecuador in Guayaquil in Group Four on Tuesday.

Goals by Emelec's Argentine defender Cristian Nasuti in the 81st minute and midfielder Fernando Gaibor five minutes into stoppage time gave them the three points.

Emelec are in second place behind group leaders Velez Sarsfield of Argentina, who qualified by beating Chile's Deportes Iquique 3-1 away on Tuesday.

With one match to go, Velez have 12 points, Emelec nine, Penarol six and Iquique three.

Palmeiras, in the competition despite their relegation from Brazil's first division last season, edged into second place in Group Two with a 2-0 home win over bottom placed Tigre of Argentina.