Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Red Bulls Captain Gets Additional Ban and TFC, New York Fined over Tunnel Melee

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Red Bulls Captain Gets Additional Ban and TFC, New York Fined over Tunnel Melee

Article excerpt

Ban and fines issued over TFC tunnel melee

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TORONTO - It appears Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan really was the villain of the piece in the halftime tunnel melee with Toronto FC in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal.

Forty-seven days after the volatile contest Nov. 5 at BMO Field, Major League Soccer's disciplinary committee issued Kljestan an additional one-game ban and fine "as a result of an interaction with stadium security personnel."

The disciplinary committee, made up of three former MLS players, a former MLS coach and a former MLS referee, also handed out fines to both clubs and Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch for their roles in the incident.

MLS did not offer a reason for the delay in the ruling other to say that it follows a "thorough internal investigation."

Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore, who was red-carded with Kljestan for violent conduct, escaped further punishment in Friday's ruling.

His fate was partially revealed Nov. 17 when Toronto coach Greg Vanney told reporters that the disciplinary committee had decided against a further ban for Altidore. That news came early because Toronto was still active in the playoffs.

Altidore, who denied any wrongdoing, served the one-game ban that came with the red card during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final against Columbus. Kljestan will now miss the first two games of next season.

But the news was not all good Friday for Altidore. In a separate ruling, he was fined for simulation/embellishment in a clash with Kljestan earlier in the game.

Toronto said it had no comment on the tunnel confrontation ruling. But the fines are not unexpected.

The league's disciplinary committee can add to the mandatory one-game suspension for a red card and/or issue a fine for "those offences the committee deems to be of an egregious nature, or where the committee believes it must act to protect player safety or the integrity of the game."

A violent clash outside the locker rooms would seem to be a clear violation of the integrity of the game. …

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