BOGOTA - The player who caused outrage by
kicking an injured owl during a Colombian championship match was
banned for two games and fined on Wednesday.
The Colombian league ruled that Pereira defender Luis Moreno
had provoked the crowd by kicking the bird which was regarded as
a mascot by the fans of home team Atletico Junior.
"This committee has become aware through the media that Luis
Moreno committed an act of cruelty against an animal during the
Atletico Junior-Pereira match," said the league's disciplinary
commission in a statement.
"The animal was practically a symbol of the local fans and,
considering this aggression took place in their stadium in full
view of the spectators, the act can clearly be seen as one of
Moreno was fined 1,070,200 pesos ($560) in addition to his
ban following Sunday's incident.
The owl, which lived in the stadium roof, later died in a
veterinary clinic, although an official said this might have
been caused by excessive man-handling, leading to stress, after
The incident happened in the 74th minute after the owl was
hit by the ball, prompting the referee to stop play.
Moreno, apparently frustrated at the delay with his team
losing 2-1, kicked the bird away towards the touchline, although
the referee took no action against him.
The incident infuriated home fans and animal rights groups
as well as shocking thousands of television viewers.
Moreno, given police protection as he left the field, has
apologised and said that he has received telephone threats over
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