KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Freshly crowned Asian footballer of the year Nassir Al Shamrani has been handed an eight-match ban for spitting at an opponent during the second leg of last month’s Champions League final.
Al Shamrani was at the centre of a mass shoving match in Al Hilal’s contentious 1-0 loss to Australia’s Western Sydney Wanderers on November 1 following the final in Riyadh.
Video footage had showed Al Shamrani spitting at Wanderers defender Matthew Spiranovic after the Australian club’s Champion’s league win, prompting the confrontation between the two teams.
The Asian Football Confederation said Saturday the ban would be served in future club competition, warning that transgressions would be dealt with more severely.
Al Shamrani beat out competition from Al Ain’s Ismail Ahmed and Qatar’s Khalfan Ibrahim to take Asian football’s top personal accolade at an AFC awards ceremony on December 1 in Manila.
Al Hilal had several penalty appeals waved away over the course of the two Champions League legs.
The club later called the second leg “a black spot in the history of Asian football”.