Squirrels sanctioned over ticket scandal

TOKYO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Japanese club Omiya Ardija were fined a J-League record-equalling 20 million yen ($239,900) on Wednesday after an embarrassing ticket scandal.

The Squirrels were fortunate to avoid being docked points after confessing to having falsified attendance figures by more than 110,000 over the past three years.

The heavy fine equals that which cross-city rivals Urawa Reds were hit with following crowd violence in May 2008.

Former Omiya President Seigo Watanabe resigned after widespread criticism of the club by rival chairmen and senior J-League officials.

Omiya are currently 14th in the 18-team first division on 34 points from 30 games.