SAO PAULO (AP) — Gremio coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo was suspended for six matches on Monday because of his involvement in a brawl following a Copa Libertadores match this month.
The South American football federation also imposed a $25,000 fine on the former Real Madrid and Brazil coach, who received the second-most severe punishment among eight sanctions announced Tuesday.
Gremio assistant coach Emerson Ferreira da Rosa was suspended for eight matches and fined $20,000 by the federation, also known as CONMEBOL.
The brawl started after Gremio's 1-1 draw against Huachipato in Chile on April 18, a result that eliminated the Chilean team in the group stage and allowed the Brazilians to advance to the round of 16 of Latin America's most important club competition.
Luxemburgo will only be allowed to return to Gremio's bench if the Brazilian club reaches the final.
"In my opinion, the punishment was completely unfair," Luxemburgo said at a news conference.
Gremio club directors said in a statement that the team will appeal the sanctions.
Huachipato coach Jorge Pellicer was suspended for one match and fined $1,000, while physical trainer Marcelo Rosemblat received a one-match suspension but was fined $2,000. Two Huachipato players were suspended for two games and fined $5,000: Francisco Arrue and Nicolas Nunez. Juan Espinoza was suspended five games and fined $10,000.
The only Gremio player sanctioned was defender Douglas Grolli, who also was suspended for five matches and fined $10,000.
The CONMEBOL committee who made the rulings said it would continue analyzing other possible sanctions in the case.
Huachipato coaches and players accused Luxemburgo of initiating the incident by provoking them following the final whistle. They told Chilean media at the time that Luxemburgo told them to "enjoy their vacation," but the Brazilian coach denied saying anything along those lines or anything to provoke the opponents.
Pellicer and some Huachipato players charged after Luxemburgo, who fell to the ground while trying to flee. Luxemburgo stayed on the ground, using his feet to try to avoid being hit, until riot police arrived to move the Chileans away and allow the coach to make it to Gremio's changing room.
Luxemburgo said CONMEBOL made a "superficial analysis" of the case before imposing the suspensions.
"They (Huachipato coaches and players) were the ones who did the provoking," the 60-year-old Luxemburgo said.
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