ZURICH: FIFA have resolved the disciplinary legacy from the World Cup finals in Brazil with suspensions of departing Greece coach Fernando Santos and the Italy team physiotherapist Aldo Esposito.
Santos has been banned for eight competitive international matches after he was sent off at the end of extra time in the World Cup tie against Costa Rica for “several acts of unsporting conduct towards the match officials.”
Costa Rica went on to win on penalties and the 59-year-old coach parted company with Greece as his contract expired at the end of the tournament in Brazil. He has since been replaced by Italian Claudio Ranieri.
Santos, who had been in charge of Greece for four years, will have to serve the ban only if and when he takes over another country so the ban, effectively, ends his national team football career.
He said he had been sent off for arguing with match officials over whether he should be allowed onto the pitch to give instructions to his players. He said the row started at the end of 90 minutes and continued again at the end of extra-time.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee has also banned Esposito for six games after he was sent off during Italy’s stormy 1-0 defeat by Uruguay in the group stage. Esposito was also guilty of unsporting conduct towards match officials, FIFA said.
Italy were upset at having midfielder Claudio Marchisio sent off in the second half and that the biting of defender Giorgio Chiellini by Uruguay forward Luis Suarez went unpunished during the game.