Coronavirus: Footballer Fined For Kissing Ball In Ecuador, Breaking Hygiene Rules

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Argentine midfielder Sergio Lopez became the first player to face sanction under the new rules.© AFP


A football player in Ecuador used to be fined $1,200 Monday for kissing the ball in breach of hygiene rules brought in to combat the coronavirus. Argentine midfielder Sergio Lopez, who plays for Quito-based Aucas in the country’s top-tier Liga Pro, became the first player to face sanction under the new rules, after making the offending gesture following his side’s 1-0 win over Macara on Friday.

The league’s disciplinary committee said Lopez used to be sanctioned for kissing the ball.

A raft of new rules have been introduced for league games, which returned in August after a five-month stoppage on account of the pandemic.

Five other players were fined $1,200 for swapping shirts, which could also be banned, in a match on August 16.

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And two teams were fined for not falling in line with new rules: Liga de Portoviejo for not providing a first aid kit; and Barcelona SC for not providing sanitizing gel or alcohol.

Ecuador has recorded 114,000 infections and almost 6,600 deaths because of the coronavirus. Authorities have also reported approximately 3,700 extra deaths likely because of the virus.

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