Bluewings to appeal AFC ruling on brawl

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Bluewings to appeal AFC ruling on brawl

The Suwon Samsung Bluewings said yesterday it will appeal recent suspensions handed down by Asia’s football governing body following an in-game brawl last month.

The Asian Football Confederation earlier suspended Suwon’s forward Stevica Ristic and trainer Ko Jong-su for six games for their role in a brawl during Suwon’s AFC Champions League semifinal first leg against Al Sadd of Qatar on Oct. 19.

But another participant in the melee, Kader Keita of Al Sadd, received a one-game suspension.

Keita sat out the second leg of the semifinal against Suwon, as Al Sadd edged out the Korean club to reach the final. Keita will be eligible for the championship showdown against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, another Korean club, this Saturday.

But the Bluewings yesterday argued that the AFC’s ruling was “unfair,” since Keita only sat out one game despite striking a fan who entered the field during the brawl.

Ristic’s six-game suspension includes domestic K-League contests, and the absence of their leading scorer will be a big blow to the Bluewings’ championship aspirations.

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