Oh baby, Conca's in more trouble

Updated: 2012-05-08 07:46

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou (China Daily)

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Things seem to be going from bad to worse for Guangzhou Evergrande midfielder Dario Conca.

Oh baby, Conca's in more trouble

The Argentinean was suspended for nine matches and fined 1 million yuan ($159,000) for publicly criticizing coach Lee Jang-soo after being taken off the pitch during the club's AFC Champions League match against Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors at home on May 1.

If that wasn't enough, the AFC is also planning to punish Conca for taking his son onto the ground during the opening ceremony of that encounter, sources at Evergrande said.

Conca's son, Benjamin, was born on March 15 in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong province.

According to AFC Champions League regulations, players are not allowed to take their children onto the pitch, but Conca ignored the match commissioner's warning and waved to the home crowd and kissed his son before the match.

Conca scored a penalty in the 14th minute, but Guangzhou went on to lose 3-1 against the defending K-League champion.

The AFC is yet to make a final ruling over Conca's behavior. But the Guangzhou club said the Argentine would have to pay any fine levied against him.

Sources at Evergrande also said the club had talked about possible recriminations with Conca if he took his son onto the ground.

This latest infraction follows his outburst against the club's coach on his weibo account on Thursday.

The 28-year-old, who became one of the world's highest-paid players when the Guangzhou side signed him last July, stormed off the pitch and later criticized Lee for replacing him after playing only 60 minutes of the game against Jeonbuk.

The club said Conca made improper remarks about the coach, refused to respect the authority of the head coach and had brought a bad influence on the entire team.

The club's statement urged the Argentine star to respect the coaches and team discipline. It was not the first time the attacking midfielder had been fined by the club. In January, he received a 150,000 yuan penalty for arriving late for training.

Lee said the decision to replace Conca on the field was due to the fact he was in poor physical condition after some less than inspiring performances at training.

"We decided to let him play for only 60 minutes before the game. Any decisions by the coach should be respected by the players," Lee said.

Conca later told a Brazilian newspaper the punishment was too harsh and he planned to talk with the club's managers about the suspension and fine.

Following the ban, Conca spent time with his family on Sunday night while Evergrande tackled Dalian Aerbin in the Chinese Super league; he even posted a picture of the gathering on his weibo.

"He is out of action. But he is required to join each training," Lee said of Conca's current status with the league-leading side.