Portugal coach Scolari gets four-match ban

Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari received a four-match ban and a fine Thursday for scuffling with Serbia defender Ivica Dragutinovic.

UEFA said Scolari was fined EUR 12,120 (US$17,000) "for assault" on Dragutinovic following a European Championship qualifying match between the two countries in Lisbon on Sept. 12.

Dragutinovic has been banned for two matches for improper conduct after the 1-1 draw, European soccer's governing body said.

Scolari said in a statement he considered the punishment "excessive" and intended to appeal.

The Portuguese Soccer Federation convened an extraordinary board meeting for Monday to discuss what action it might take.

The incident occurred after Portugal winger Ricardo Quaresma and Dragutinovic squared up after the final whistle and Scolari intervened. TV pictures showed Dragutinovic slapping away the Brazilian coach's arm. In reply, Scolari aimed a left-handed punch at Dragutinovic.

Scolari said he didn't make contact. Dragutinovic, who was given a red card, said the punch brushed his cheek.

UEFA said the decision means Scolari will not be able to attend the Euro 2008 qualifiers in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in October, and at home against Armenia and Finland in November.

Dragutinovic will miss Serbia's qualifiers in Armenia and Azerbaijan on Oct. 13 and 17, UEFA said.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova