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banner Friday, 27 October, 2000, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Five-match ban for Zidane
zidane
Zinedine Zidane has paid heavily for the tenth dismissal of his career
Juventus midfielder Zinedine Zidane has been suspended for five matches for head-butting a German player, Uefa have confirmed.

The Frenchman, star of the 1998 World Cup-winning squad as well as the Euro 2000 championship side, had feared at least a three-match ban after he head-butted Hamburg's Jochen Kientz during the Italian side's 3-1 Champions League home defeat by the Germans last Tuesday.

But Uefa made an example of him as they clamped down hard for what was a second offence.

Zidane, whose red card was the tenth of his career, was also dismissed against Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna at the Stadio delle Alpi earlier in the tournament.

Uefa reduced his ban on that occasion from two games to one, allowing him to particpate in last Tuesday's game.

Concussion

But this time there was no comeback for Zidane after Kientz received a fractured cheekbone and concussion, putting him out of action for two weeks.

Zidane was in contrite mood. "What can I say? I am supposed to set an example to young players. So Tuesday's incident sits badly with that.

"I should never have been aggressive towards the player - I do not have the right to act like that or to give this image of myself," he told L'Equipe.

"I committed a dreadful foul. Anyone can lose their cool, it's human - but that's no excuse," he said.

ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti feels Zidane has been harshly punished
Juventus coach Carlo Ancelotti said he thought the length of the ban was a little harsh.

Excessive

"We think it seems excessive," Ancelotti told Juventus' website.

"But be that as it may this punishment will be an extra incentive for Zidane to give his all in the league," Ancelotti added.

Juventus were also fined 25,000 Swiss francs (9,500) for bad conduct by fans and the team following the Hamburg defeat.

The ban will rule Zidane out of their Uefa Champions League match against Panathinaikos in Athens on November 8 and four other Uefa club competition matches.

That means Zidane would miss four of Juventus' six second round group matches, should they qualify.

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