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Aguirre Slapped With Three-Match Ban

For kicking a Panamanian player during a Gold Cup match, Mexico manager Javier Aguirre got the boot himself.

CONCACAF slapped Aguirre with a three-match ban for the incident between Aguirre and Panama's Ricardo Phillips on Thursday. As Phillips dribbled the ball near the Mexico bench, Aguirre raised his foot and kicked Phillips, who shoved Aguirre back. Both men were sent off.

The incident, which the Mexican Football Federation said was "embarrassing," was deemed serious by CONCACAF. Furthermore, the CONCACAF Disciplinary Committee fined the Mexican Football Federation $25,000 for the incident.

"The committee recognized that Mr. Aguirre was not intending to hurt the player," CONCACAF General Secratary Chuck Blazer wrote in a letter to the FMF. "Nonetheless, his action to impede his progress with the ball by intentionally blocking him with an upraised leg outside of the technical area and the resulting consequences required the multigame suspension ordered by the committee."

The ban will begin Sunday when Mexico closes out the Gold Cup group phase against Guadeloupe in Arizona on Sunday. Mexico, who qualified for the quarterfinals after Friday's Group A results, will play a quarterfinal match later in the week and the game will be the second of the three-match ban. Should Mexico advance to the semifinals, Aguirre will serve out his suspension in the Gold Cup.

However, if Mexico lose in the quarterfinals, Aguirre would sit out the Mexico-United States World Cup qualifier on Aug. 12.

Even though Aguirre had a similar incident during his stint with Atletico de Madrid - Aguirre was banned for two games after insulting Marseille players in Champions League play - CONCACAF representatives said this was an anomoly.

"The committee acknowledged that Mr. Aguirre is well known to them as a responsible person and it was their belief that this was an aberration rather than any aspect of his normal behavior."

CONCACAF also acknowledged what they deemed positive behavior by Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa during the incident's aftermath.

"The committee commended the exemplary behavior of Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa in attempting to get the spectators to allow the game to restart," Blazer wrote in his letter, "and in helping lead Ricardo Phillips, the Panamanian player who was ejected, to a safe exit from the playing field."

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