Greece Coach Fernando Santos gets ban for actions in World Cup
After Uruguay’s Luis Suarez bit an Italian opponent during a group-play game at this summer’s World Cup, FIFA, world soccer’s governing body, acted immediately, banning Suarez from any sanctioned soccer activity for four months.
FIFA’s justice system apparently works a little slower for coaches. Because it wasn’t until Monday that Greece Coach Fernando Santos learned that he has been banned for eight international matches for actions he took during a June 29 elimination-round game against Costa Rica.
In handing down the suspension, FIFA said Santos displayed “several acts of unsporting conduct.” He was banished from his team’s dugout after extra time, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Greece went on to lose the game on penalty kicks.
Santos’ contract with Greece ended when the World Cup did. And with FIFA saying his ban must be served in official competitive matches played by the next national team he coaches, it’s likely that Santos, 59, will not manage a national team again.
Santos, who coached for many years in Greece’s domestic league, was named the country’s best coach of the last decade. He ran the national team for four years.
He was replaced this month by Italian Claudio Ranieri, who formerly coached at Inter Milan, among other clubs.
FIFA’s disciplinary committee also suspended Italian medical official Aldo Esposito for six matches for “unsporting conduct” during his team’s loss to Uruguay. That was the same game in which Suarez earned his suspension.
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