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Aguirre suspended for three matches for 'aberration'
by Paul Kennedy, July 13th, 2009 7AM



[GOLD CUP] One of the most bizarre sideline incidents in recent history landed Mexico coach Javier Aguirre a three-game suspension. "El Vasco"sat in the stands Sunday and watched Mexico beat Guadeloupe, 2-0, to clinch the Group C title at the Gold Cup.

During the second half of Thursday's game between Mexico and Panama, Aguirre raised his leg as if to attempt to trip Canalero Ricardo Phillips, who was racing down the sidelines past the Mexico bench.

Aguirre and the stunned Phillips, who shoved the Mexico coach, were both ejected.

Phillips' shove prompted Mexican bench personnel to respond by pushing Phillips and a fracas ensued.

Debris showered the field from the crowd. The match was interrupted for approximately 12 minutes before Phillips could be moved from the field under a security escort and order was restored.

Concacaf's disciplinary committee determined that while Aguirre was not attempting to injure Phillips, he did leave his designated area to engage in activities that resulted in contact and instigated the incident.

"The committee acknowledged that Mr. Aguirre is well known to them as a responsible person and it was their belief that this was an aberration rather than any aspect of his normal behavior," CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer wrote in his letter to Mexican General Secretary Decio de Maria informing him of the decision.

Aguirre, Mexico's fourth coach since the start of a new World Cup cycle in 2006, apologized for his actions on Friday.

Concacaf also noted the "exemplary behavior" of Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in trying to calm matters and help Phillips safely from the field.


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