CAS reduces year-long bans on players who attacked refs

Paraguay's Pablo Aguilar smiles as he talks to the media during a news conference in Concepcion, Chile, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) - Two players banned for a year for attacking referees in separate incidents in domestic Mexican games have had their suspensions reduced following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

America defender Pablo Aguilar was originally banned for 10 matches and Toluca forward Enrique Triverio for eight before the Mexican federation's disciplinary committee increased them both to one year.

However, CAS said on Tuesday that it had ruled that the players should serve the bans originally imposed which were criticised by the Mexican referees' association at the time as being too lenient.

Paraguayan Aguilar struck referee Fernando Hernandez with his forehead and screamed insults at him after America lost 1-0 to Tijuana in a Copa MX match in March.

Argentina Triverio pushed and insulted referee Miguel Flores in Toluca's defeat by Morelia in the same competition.

The Mexican referees' association said the initial punishments were too lenient and went on strike, forcing a round of league fixtures to be called off.

After the bans were extended to one year, it said the decision had "set a precedent so that it is order and respect that prevails on the field of play".

"The sanctions that had been imposed in the first instance ....were appropriate in light of the misconducts at stake," CAS said.

(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)