SINGAPORE - The Singaporean coach who
manhandled a referee in front of Pele and Eric Cantona escaped
on Tuesday with a season-long touchline ban and a fine.
Slobodan Pavkovic, coach of S.League side Young Lions and
the Singapore Football Association (FAS) technical director,
shoved the referee in a league match earlier this month attended
by the famous pair and was fined $10,000 Singaporean dollars
($7,912) and banned pending a further hearing.
The Singaporean FA (FAS) agreed on Tuesday that Pavkovic's
punishment had been sufficient.
"The FAS Disciplinary Committee does not condone any
physical abuse or verbal abuse of referees," Disciplinary
Committee Chairman K. Bala Chandran told reporters.
"Pavkovic pleaded guilty and admitted to the charge
unreservedly. We have taken into account Pavkovic's mitigation
and we believe that the punishment meted out by his employer is
sufficient in this instance.
"We do not think it is necessary to add any further
Pavkovic said he had been mortified by his actions in front
of the football greats.
"I deeply regret my actions and I fully accept the
punishment meted out by FAS," Serbian Pavkovic said in a
statement. "I approached the referee immediately after the match
to apologise in person and the next day met FAS management,
coaches and players to personally apologise to them as well.
Pele and Cantona had been in Singapore to officially kick
off the 2011 New York Cosmo Asia Tour.
The last time the New York Cosmos were in Singapore was in
the 1970s and this tour had marked the club's first visit to the
region since its rebirth seven months ago.
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