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CONMEBOL celebrates centenary by reducing existing sanctions

CONMEBOL has opted to celebrate its centenary by reducing existing sanctions on players and clubs.

The governing body of South American football is operating in its 100th year and has moved to decrease standing punishments ahead of the start of the preliminary stages of the 2016 Copa Libertadores on Tuesday.

Boca Juniors appears to be the greatest beneficiary, with the Argentinean club stating on its official website that the eight-game ban on spectators — covering four home matches and four away — at continental games has been reduced to just two.

Boca was expelled from the 2015 Copa Libertadores and handed the sanction after a fan appeared to pepper spray River Plate players during a last-16 second leg meeting at La Bombonera, the match being abandoned as a result.

"Reduction of sanctions was implemented by the Commission on Legal Affairs and by a majority support of members of the Executive Committee of CONMEBOL to mark the centenary [of the] confederation and will be applied automatically and without any more formalities," a statement read. "The suspensions of players and coaches are reduced in half of the sanction imposed. Sanctions on clubs for closure of its stadiums and concerning access of their fans were decreased by two thirds of the penalty imposed.

"The resolution does not apply to those who were suspended for doping, physical altercations with referees, racism and discrimination and those players sanctioned with their national teams. Any economic penalties, whether principal or accessory, must be fulfilled in their entirety. The decision is valid from this date, which benefits participants of the Copa Bridgestone Libertadores starting tonight [Tuesday]."

Rosario Central's one-game ban on spectators — carried over from the 2014 Copa Sudamericana — has also been removed as a result.