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30.04.2007 Football News

CHINESE BAN NIGERIAN FOOTBALLER

By BBC

The China Football Association (CFA) has suspended Nigerian defender Gabriel Melkam for three matches for wearing a vest emblazoned with "Chinese umpires are all fakes".Melkam, who plays for local side Xiamen Lanshi, was also fined US$650 for the incident on Sunday.

The former youth international stripped off his team uniform after a 0-0 draw against Chinese Super League (CSL) side Henan Jianye, revealing the undershirt to journalists before a post-match press conference.

"Melkam displayed serious unsportsmanlike behaviour, which harmed the league and brought a negative influence to bear on society," the CFA said in a statement.

Melkam's act was in response to a referee blunder in the previous round that caused Xiamen to lose 1-0 to Shanghai Shenhua.

An injury-time goal was awarded to Shenhua striker Sergio Blanco, who League officials later conceded was off-side.

Melkam's punishment was light as he had admitted his mistake and apologised to officials.

"Our punishments are not particular, they are for the education of all players," CSL director Ma Chengquan said.

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