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Ecuadorean ref Moreno loses appeal against ban

© Reuters 2002

QUITO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Ecuadorean referee Byron Moreno, who was in charge of the controversial FIFA World Cup" match between South Korea and Italy, has lost his appeal against a 20-match ban imposed for his handling of a domestic match, the Ecuador Football Federation (FEF) said on Wednesday.

Moreno was suspended on September 10 following an Ecuadorean championship match between Liga de Quito and Barcelona, when he signalled six minutes of injury time but added on 12. Liga took advantage by scoring twice - in the ninth and eleventh minutes of injury time - to snatch a 4-3 win which left visiting Barcelona furious.

Barcelona lodged an official protest and their president Leonardo Bohrer pointed out that Moreno was standing in October's elections for places on the Quito city council. The FEF said in a statement on its website that Moreno had attempted to justify his decision, claiming the game had been littered with stoppages and time-wasting, but the executive committee had rejected his arguments.

The FEF added that its legal advisor Guillermo Saltos had said that Moreno would not be allowed any further appeals.

Ecuadoreans had rallied behind Moreno following the FIFA World Cup" when Italy complained bitterly about his performance in the second round match against South Korea when they lost 2-1 to a golden goal. Moreno was given a standing ovation at the start of his first domestic game following the FIFA World Cup".

But his performance in the Liga-Barcelona game set off a stream of criticism, with both the media and Barcelona officials criticising him for mixing sport and politics.

Reports provided by

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Wednesday, 9 October
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Tuesday, 8 October
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Monday, 7 October
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