Latin America

Referee choker gets 27-match ban

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Paraguay soccer player Jose Pedroso received a 27-game ban for attempting to choke a referee during a Chilean second-division match.

The governing body of Chile's professional league handed down the penalty on Tuesday. It said the Rangers defender was banned 20 games for attempting to choke referee Marcelo Miranda, five for a second attempt and two for the red card Pedroso received that ignited the outburst.

Pedroso resigned from the club after the match Saturday, saying he was returning to Paraguay.

Concepcion defeated Rangers 3-0 in the match.

''The player must comply with this if he is playing in Chile and, if not, the Chilean federation will pass on notice of the ban to any other federation where the player might play,'' federation spokesman Angel Botto said.

The attack was posted on YouTube. It took place shortly after Miranda allowed Concepcion to take a penalty kick four times, waving off attempts because of infractions. Concepcion converted the first, missed the next two and converted the fourth.

Pedroso charged at Miranda later in the match after the referee showed him a second yellow card for a violent tackle. As Miranda approached to show the card, Pedroso slipped behind him and grabbed the referee around the neck. After releasing him, he chased after Miranda and was wrestled to the ground by teammates.

''I'm not the least bit sorry,'' Pedroso said in the Chilean newspaper La Tercera.

Miranda did not file charges.

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