May 04, 2009

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Chivas defender Hector Reynoso has been suspended from the Copa Libertadores for pretending to cough and spit in an opponent's face, gestures interpreted as threatening to spread swine flu.

It was not immediately clear the length of the suspension. South America's football governing body CONMEBOL said Monday that Reynoso had 72 hours to appeal the decision, which was made after watching the incident on video and reading printed accounts.

The H1N1 outbreak is confirmed to have killed more than 20 people in Mexico.

The Mexican coughed several times in the face of Sebastian Penco -- an Argentine playing for Chilean club Everton -- in a Copa Libertadores match last week. He later apologized, but said he expected to be punished for his behavior.

Two Mexican clubs -- San Luis and Chivas of Guadalajara -- have had their first-leg matches in the final 16 of the Copa Libertadores delayed by a week as officials monitor the swine flu outbreak in the country. Visiting clubs do not want to play in Mexico.

San Luis was to host Nacional of Uruguay, while Sao Paulo was slated to visit Chivas in the first-leg fixtures this week.

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