FIFA bans 5 Uzbek players for deliberate bookings

FIFA has banned five Uzbekistan players from an additional World

Cup qualifier after they tried to manipulate their suspensions by

getting deliberate yellow cards.

The players will miss the opening match of the next stage of

Asian qualifying in June, in addition to sitting out a meaningless

qualifier against Japan this month.

FIFA said Friday that it fined each player 3,000 Swiss francs

($3,270) and the Uzbekistan Football Federation 18,000 Swiss francs

($19,600).

Shavkatjon Mulladjanov, Sanjar Tursunov, Islom Tuhtahujaev,

Server Djeparov and Vagiz Galiulin all received yellow cards in

earlier qualifiers before being booked again for time-wasting late

in a 3-0 win over Tajikistan in Tashkent last November.

Uzbekistan was sure to advance from its group with Japan, and

the players hoped to wipe clean their disciplinary records by

missing only the match against Japan.

”Between the 70th minute … and the conclusion of the match,

five Uzbekistan players – who had already received one yellow card

in previous matches in round three of the (Asian) preliminary

competition – were cautioned in separate incidents for deliberately

delaying the restart of the match,” FIFA said.

FIFA’s disciplinary committee reviewed footage of the game and

reports from match officials.

FIFA and UEFA have tried to crack down on players and coaches

seeking to orchestrate the timing of suspensions. UEFA updated its

disciplinary rules last June to add an additional match sanction in

such cases.

The problem was highlighted in a Champions League match between

Real Madrid and Ajax in November 2010. With Madrid leading 4-0,

coach Jose Mourinho was judged to have sent instructions to Xabi

Alonso and Sergio Ramos to get sent off by provoking second yellow

cards for wasting time.

UEFA imposed a one-match touchline ban on Mourinho and fined

Madrid ?100,000 (then $133,000).