Guangzhou suspend Dario Conca

Guangzhou Evergrande star Dario Conca has been suspended for nine games by the Chinese Super League club after criticising head coach Lee Jang-Soo.

Dario Conca Guangzhou Evergrande

By staff

Conca, who joined Guangzhou from Fluminese last year, launched the blistering attack on Lee after being hauled off on the hour mark during his side's AFC Champions League Group H clash with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on Tuesday.

The Argentina Under-20 midfielder had opened the scoring with a tenth minute penalty, only to be replaced by substitute Jiang Ning with the score level at 1-1. Two late goals then saw Jeonbuk go on to win the game 3-1.

Speaking via his Weibo account, Conca denied that a recent illness had hampered his performance, saying: "If I could play and score such an important penalty it means I was physically okay. Why must the coaching staff always plan to rest Conca?"

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Guangzhou hierarchy have acted quickly in response to the criticism, handing Conca, one of the world's highest paid players, a lengthy ban and a hefty fine.

"On May 3, Dario Conca undermined the authority of the club's head coach by publicly expressing his dissatisfaction towards the coach," an official Guangzhou statement declared.

"After much deliberation, the club management has decided that Conca will be fined ¥1m (€120,000) and suspended for nine matches.

"We urge the management staff and players to learn from this lesson and continue to work hard together," the release concluded.

Guangzhou recently signed Borussia Dortmund striker Lucas Barrios in a deal that will see the Paraguay international move to China at the start of June.

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