Football: Witsel receives suspension and death threats

2nd September 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Belgian Football Association has suspended the Standard Liège player Axel Witsel until 23 November. The FA took the decision following the player's tackle of Marcin Wasilewski on Sunday.

The Anderlecht player sustained an open double leg fracture as a result.

The suspension includes ten Belgian competition matches and one Belgian Cup match.

The Belgian FA intends to pass on its dossier to the UEFA and FIFA.

The FA's prosecutor's office had requested a suspension until 16 November, a date that the sport committee decided to extend. 

Witsel attended the meeting together with Standard director Pierre François. "I accept the punishment," Witsel said. "But anybody who knows me knows I didn't do it on purpose."

"I would like to extend my best wishes to Wasilewski and his family and wish to apologise to him in hospital as soon as possible."

François asked the Sport Committee to judge Witsel by his mistake and not by the ramifications of the tackle.

A large crowd had gathered outside the FA Building in Brussels ahead of the decision. Around twenty police officers were on hand in the event of trouble.

A crowd of fifty booed the Standard player as he drove into the compound. They hurled abuse at Witsel and shouted "assassin".

Both Witsel and Standard captain Steven Defour have received death threats. The police are keeping an eye on their homes.

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