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Wednesday February 20, 2008
RIO DE JANEIRO: Sao Paulo’s on-loan striker Adriano escaped with a two-match ban on Monday after a tribunal accepted that he had used his head to push rather than butt an opponent during a state championship match.
A Brazilian disciplinary tribunal found that the Inter Milan player had confronted Santos centre-half Domingos.
The incident happened when Adriano acted aggressively during his club’s 3-2 victory over Santos.
But the disciplinary tribunal ruled that the degree of contact had fallen short of a dangerous head butt.
Adriano had initially been charged with the more serious offence of physical aggression.
Adriano had faced a ban of between 120 and 540 days for the offence he had been earlier charged with .
His lawyers showed television footage of the famous 2006 World Cup final incident involving France’s Zinedine Zidane and Italy’s Marco Materazzi to support their argument.
Adriano has already served one game of his suspension by sitting out last Sunday’s 3-2 defeat at Marilia.
The 25-year-old moved to Sao Paulo in December on a six-month loan deal in a bid to revive a career from the Italian club side Inter-Milan.
His career was stalling due to fitness problems and reported alcoholism.
Adriano started his loan period by netting two goals against Guaratingueta but has scored only two more in seven games since.
Adriano’s mother Rosilda raised the former Brazil international in one of Rio de Janeiro’s toughest neighbourhoods.
She appealed to the tribunal members for leniency in a television interview shown before the hearing. – Reuters
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