Popovic handed two-game Champions League ban

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has been suspended for two AFC Champions League matches.

The AFC released the outcome of its November disciplinary committee meeting, one that saw 39 charges laid, many of which stemmed from some spiteful encounters in the Champions League involving ties with champions Western Sydney. 

The quarter-final clash between Western Sydney and Guangzhou Evergrande resulted in nine charges laid in total between the two clubs, including AFC Coach of the Year Popovic suspended for two Champions League games and facing a $2,000 fine. 

Guangzhou’s Marcello Lippi did not get off lightly, either, the World Cup-winning coach receiving a four-match ban, one game of which he has already served, and a $5,000 sanction.

Al-Hilal striker Nasser Al-Shamrani’s eight-match Champions League ban for headbutting and spitting at Wanderers defender Matthew Spiranovic was also confirmed. 

There were two other charges laid as a result of the Champions League final, one of those seeing Western Sydney fined $5,000 for spectator conduct during the first leg of the clash with Al-Hilal. 

Al-Hilal, however, received a $10,000 fine for spectator misconduct during the second leg of the final in Riyadh, while the Saudi club was given a further $15,000 in fines for spectator issues in other Champions League games.