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Birkirkara defender Coppola handed four-match ban

Birkirkara's Alessandro Coppola was handed four-match ban. Photo: Domenic Borg

Stripes set to appeal decision

The Malta Football Association Disciplinary Commissioner went down heavy on Birkirkara defender Alessandro Coppola as the towering player was handed a four-match suspension following his dismissal in Sunday’s Premier League clash against Marsaxlokk.

The Italian defender was shown a straight red card by referee Stefan Pace for kicking an opponent during the second half of Sunday’s clash which saw Marsaxlokk claim a shock 1-0 win.

Coppola’s was one of four red cards brandished by referee Pace during Sunday’s match which also featured ten bookings.

Apart from Coppola, Marsaxlokk midfielder Juan Aguilar also saw red for a second bookable offence while Birkirkara president Michael Valenzia and coach Giovanni Tedesco were also dismissed by the referee from the bench.

Coppola is now expected to be ruled out of Birkirkara’s next four matches against Mosta, Hibernians, Gżira United and Pieta Hotspurs.

However, the decision did not go down well with the Birkirkara top hierarchy who are expected to appeal Coppola’s suspension.

Meanwhile, Valenzia has been handed a two-match suspension along with Marsaxlokk physical trainer Andrew Quiroga while coach Giovanni Tedesco was banned for one match.

Aguilar was haned a one-match ban and will skip the team’s next match against Hibernians.

Elsewhere, Gżira United midfielder Luis Riascos is ruled out of his team’s match against Ħamrun Spartans due to a one-match ban.

Gudja United will be without James Arthur and Neil Micallef for their next encounter against Pieta Hotspurs while Sta Lucia goalkeeper Matthew Calleja Cremona is banned for the match against Sirens.

Balzan’s Ivan Bozovic and Randall Vella, of Żebbuġ Rangers, were the other players handed a one-match ban and will miss the their clashes against Valletta and Floriana, respectively.

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