Striker banned after kneeing referee in face

A striker of infamous Portuguese side Canelas has been banned for four years after kneeing a referee in the face.

Footage emerged last month of Marco Goncalves physically assaulting an official in their match against Rio Tinto before being escorted off the field by police.

Canelas are top of the Portuguese fourth tier this season, although the majority of their victories have been by default as opposition sides are afraid to face the club and have chosen to incur a €750 fine rather than to take the field.

Their team includes members of FC Porto’s “Super Dragons” ultras.

In February, Canelas were branded “thugs” and “butchers” by Manuel Gomes, the president of rival club Grijo.

If Canelas win their league, they will enter a playoff to be promoted to the third division, the lowest level of professional football in Portugal, and be eligible to play in the Portuguese Cup.

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