Guangzhou`s Lippi banned for confronting ref: AFC

Guangzhou Evergrande coach Marcello Lippi has been slapped with an initial one-match ban for angrily confronting the referee during an AFC Champions League match, the Asian Football Confederation announced Sunday.

The incident happened during last week`s quarter-final first leg away to Australia`s Western Sydney Wanderers which China`s Guangzhou lost 0-1.

The punishment was imposed on the Italian World Cup-winning coach for walking onto the pitch to confront referee Mohammed Abdulla Hassan following the sending off of a second Guangzhou player.

"The former Italian national team manager has been provisionally suspended in accordance with Article 129 of the AFC disciplinary code after he entered the field of play to confront the match referee," the AFC said in a statement.

Lippi, who coached Italy to win the World Cup in 2006, will now be banned from the touchline during Wednesday`s second leg at home.

"Lippi will therefore not be allowed to sit in the continental champions` dugout at the return leg to be played on 27 August in Guangzhou," the governing body of Asian football said.

Lippi could face further sanction as the AFC said the final decision of the disciplinary committee will be issued following the completion of a full investigation.

The AFC added that the Chinese Football Association had been notified of the decision.

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