The Valencia-Inter brawl has led to severe punishments for the parties involved.
David Navarro got a 7-month ban (from March 6th onwards, that amounts to a ban till October 6th/7th – at worst this will last till mid October). It keeps him out of this season’s Champions League but only prevents him from playing two group stage CL matches from next season.
UEFA have also asked FIFA to make the punishment extend to all forms of football, so that Navarro will be banned from domestic and international football as well.
Valencia: David Navarro (7 months) and Carlos Marchena (4 games).
Inter Milan: Nicolas Burdisso (6 games), Maicon (6 games), Ivan Cordoba (3 games) and Julio Cruz (2 games).
Both clubs were also fined £106,000 each.
Valencia for their part want to appeal against the decisions, citing Navarro’s apology as good enough – which is similar to saying that you can go kick a fan and then say sorry and get away with it, or that you can break an opponent’s leg with a deliberate challenge and then get away with it.
Of course, this was a bit more extreme. Burdisso hadn’t injured Navarro before. Burdisso wasn’t hurling abuse at Navarro either. Burdisso was surrounded by security, Inter and Valencia players, had just been kicked, and Burdisso had to go around a whole gaggle of players, find Burdisso and punch him in the face.
An unused sub runs on the pitch and punches the opposition player in the face!
And Valencia want to appeal on a 7 month ban?
To be honest, the 7 month ban from European competition is light – but a blanket ban on domestic and international football will be more appropriate.
If Navarro was on the pitch and part of the argument, his actions would have been easier to sympathise with (rush of blood, etc). But he ran on the pitch, and then ran off like a coward!
Will FIFA agree? They are usually soft but in this case they’ll want to appear as defenders of football’s virginity, so they’ll probably concur.