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Tribunal reduces Lucio ban on appeal

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Tribunal reduces Lucio ban on appeal

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:15 pm

20.09.2006

A German Football Association (DFB) disciplinary tribunal slashed a three-match German Cup ban on Brazil defender Lucio to a one-match suspension plus a fine following a personal hearing in Frankfurt on Wednesday. The Bayern player was represented by top legal brief Christoph Schickhardt.

"We can live with the verdict. In any case, he wasn't allowed to escape without punishment," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge commented. The Bayern chairman personally attended the hearing in Frankfurt.

Lucio was shown a straight red card in Bayern's 2-1 German Cup first round victory away to St Pauli on 9 September. The tribunal decided that the initial verdict of retaliation could no longer be upheld. Instead, Lucio was found guilty of unsportsmanlike behaviour towards opponent Thomas Meggle, and is now eligible to play from the last sixteen onwards. The DFB review board can challenge the result of appeal within the next 10 days.

<b>Video evidence clears Lucio</b>

"We really had to wrestle with the issue. It was a difficult verdict to reach," tribunal chairman Hans-Hermann Menzel explained. Referee Lutz Wagner cited retaliation as the reason for dismissing Lucio in the first minute of extra time, but the Munich player insisted a swing of his arm towards his opponent's head had merely been an attempt to free himself from Meggle's grasp.

In the personal hearing, the Munich club presented TV footage proving that Meggle had continued to hold and impede Lucio long after the ball had gone. "Lucio was held firmly by Meggle for several metres and seconds. We judge that he used excessive force to pull himself clear, which is unsporting behaviour," Menzel explained.

<b>Lucio protests innocence</b>

The review board under chairman Horst Hilpert accepted that was a reason for leniency, but still called for a two-match ban on the grounds of mild retaliation. The fact that the St Pauli man was able to continue playing without hindrance spoke in Lucio's favour. "I never intended to hit my opponent in the face," the Brazil World Cup winner insisted.
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