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FOOTBALL David Beckham banned for ‘provocative behaviour’

LA Galaxy midfielder, recently left out of Great Britain Olympic team, kicked ball at opponent

Reuters
July 6, 2012

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham has been suspended for a game for “confrontational and provocative behaviour” near the end of the recent loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, Major League Soccer (MLS) said on Thursday.

The actions by Beckham, who was also fined an undisclosed amount, occurred during and immediately after his team’s 4-3 loss and were considered unacceptable and detrimental to the league’s public image, MLS said in a statement.

With under a minute remaining in stoppage time, an impatient Beckham kicked a ball at San Jose’s Sam Cronin, who was lying on the pitch. The ball hit Cronin and referee Hilario Grajeda, resulting in a yellow card for Beckham.

The infraction earned Beckham, who had to be separated from opposing players after the final whistle, an automatic one-game ban for yellow card accumulation.

The 37-year-old former England captain, who has been omitted from Britain’s squad for the London Olympics, will serve his one-game ban on Sunday when the Galaxy visit the Chicago Fire.

Thursday’s ban was the latest blow in what has been one of the more trying weeks of Beckham’s career.

The former Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan and England midfielder had been expected to be included as one of the three over-age players in Stuart Pearce’s team for the London Games.

Chief London Olympic organiser Sebastian Coe is to discuss a “Games time role” with the globally recognised sports figure, who played an ambassadorial role in London winning the Olympics.

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