Club America sanctions Darwin Quintero for booting ball at reporter

Oribe Peralta Darwin Quintero Club America Julio Dominguez Cruz Azul

Club America announced that it will sanction Carlos Darwin Quintero internally after the winger appeared to kick a ball at a reporter during a training session Tuesday.

ESPN reporter Marcelino Fernandez was broadcasting live from the corner of the training field when Quintero sent a ball in his direction. It narrowly missed the reporter, who continued on with his live shot. 

Though Quintero denies any malice, the Mexico City club has elected to sanction Quintero after debate about his intentions took hold on television and social media Tuesday night.

"Club America informs that the player Darwin Quintero will be sanctioned internally after the unfortunate action he carried out during yesterday's training, which doesn't represent the values of this institution," read a club statement released Wednesday. "The club laments what happened and offers an apology to the reporter Marcelino Fernandez of ESPN and his crew, as well as anyone who may have been offended by what happened."

The club did not mention what the exact sanction will be.

Quintero said he and his teammates were playing a far more innocent training ground game and never would've set out to hit Fernandez.

"At no time did I shoot the ball to hit him," Quintero said. "We were betting on who could hit the tree because at this angle it was really hard to hit it at the reporter from that angle. Before you say something, you should investigate better."

The Colombian winger started the first two matches of the Clausura but was left on the bench in Sunday's match against Pumas. He entered the scoreless draw in the 84th minute. America hosts Atlas, which has lost all three matches thus far, on Saturday. Quintero's starting spot already is in question after America signed Andres Ibarguen in the offseason and also brought in forwards Jeremy Menez and Henry Martin.

Quintero has been linked with moves to South America and MLS but is likely to stay on with Las Aguilas through the Clausura.