A Mexican footballer has been banned for spitting and blowing nasal secretions at an opponent then telling him he had swine flu.
Guadalajara defender Hector Reynoso has provisionally been suspended from all matches in the Libertadores Cup following last week’s game at Everton of Chile in South America’s top club competition.
The South American Football Confederation (CSF) said the length of the ban would be determined in the next 72 hours.
“At around the 90th minute of the aforementioned game, Reynoso, following an incident in the game, reacted by spitting at Everton player Sebastian Penco and then releasing nasal secreations at the face of the player,” said the CSF in a statement.
“This situation, lamentable in its own right, was aggravated by the risk of a possible infection of the disease AH1N1 (swine flu).”
Reynoso was widely quoted as saying in the media that he had told Penco he had the disease.
He later apologised for the incident, which was reported to have been accepted by Penco.
Guadalajara players complained that their opponents taunted them with remarks about swine flu during the game which ended 1-1.
They also said that when the team went to a shopping centre in Vina del Mar, people covered their mouths, ran away, laughed or made remarks about being contaminated.
The CSF has postponed this week’s second-round first-leg ties involving Guadalajara and fellow Mexicans San Luis after both Chile and Colombia refused to act as alternative venues for their home games.
The Libertadores is the region’s equivalent of the Champions League. Mexican teams are not members of the CSF but three take part every year under a special agreement.