Deportivo Pereira defender Luis Moreno was today hit with a fine and suspension, after the player shocked Colombian football fans by kicking an injured owl during a game against Junior at the weekend.
Reuters Colombia reports that the 29 year old, veteran of 67 caps for Panama, received a two game ban and a $500 fine from the Colombia FA's disciplinary commission, following the attack on the owl - rival club Junior's mascot.
VIDEO: Moreno kicks Junior mascot during Sunday's match
"Moreno performed an act of cruelty against an animal located on the playing field during the Junior-Pereira match," the commission's report read following the verdict.
"The animal was practically a symbol of the Baranquilla fans and, given that the assault was performed in its own stadium and in the direct view of the spectators, such an act can justifiably be interpreted as a means to provoke the home crowd, in violation of our regulations."
Moreno became frustrated when the injured owl landed on the pitch and delayed the game, which Pereira were losing 2-1. The defender approached the animal and strongly kicked it off the pitch, and was immediately surrounded by incensed home players and booed from the stands. The owl died two days later from its injuries. The Panamanian later attempted to apologise for his actions.
"What happened is extremely regrettable, and is now known across the world. I am very sorry for what I did but I didn't mean to alarm the world so much. This is affecting me and my family, and I have already apologised to all of Colombia and the Baranquilla fans," Moreno stated at a club press conference on Monday.