A football player in Ecuador was fined $1,200 Monday for kissing the ball in breach of hygiene rules brought in to combat the coronavirus.
Argentine midfielder Sergio Lopez, who plays for Quito-based Aucas in the country’s top-tier Liga Pro, became the first player to face sanction under the new rules, after making the offending gesture following his side’s 1-0 win over Macara on Friday.
The league’s disciplinary committee said Lopez was sanctioned for kissing the ball.
A raft of new rules have been introduced for league games, which returned in August after a five-month stoppage because of the pandemic.
Five other players were fined $1,200 for swapping shirts, which is also banned, in a match on August 16.
While the Aucas coach Andres Miller did not complain officially about the new rule, he speculated what punishment Lopez would have received if he had kissed a girl after the game. “I understand the fine would be $600 if she was his sister but $1,200 seems a little steep for a ball.”