Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) goalkeeper Farizal Marlias has had his one-year ban reduced upon appeal, the AFC announced on Thursday in a statement.
Malaysian international Farizal was hit with a 12-month ban from all competitions last month for man-handling match officials after JDT were knocked out of the AFC Cup by Ceres Negros thanks to a controversial late penalty in May.
Farizal’s 12-month ban, originally scheduled to run to June 9 next year, will now end in February after the AFC appeals committee suspended the last four months of his sentence with a one-year probationary period.
Farizal lost his temper after Chinese referee Fu Ming awarded Ceres a penalty in added-time for a push in the area.
Ceres scored the resulting spot kick to knock JDT out of the tournament on away goals.
In addition to the ban, Farizal was fined US$40,000 for his ‘aggressive behaviour’.
In reducing the sentence, the AFC statement said “In the appeal of Johor Darul Ta’zim (MAS) player Mohd Farizal Bin Marlias, the Committee confirmed the twelve-month match suspension from Asian football and USD40,000 fine imposed. However, it suspended four months for a probationary period of one year. If Farizal is expelled for violent conduct in any official match during the probationary period, the suspended sanction will be automatically invoked.”
The reduction means Farizal may return to action from February 9, 2018.
JDT’s then coach Benjamin Mora was also fined US$7,000 for insulting the AFC staff and match officials after the game.
His appeal will be heard next month.