Valencia's Marchena given three-match ban

January 28, 2006

MADRID, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Valencia centre-back Carlos Marchena was banned for three matches on Friday after being sent off in the King's Cup quarter-final tie against Deportivo Coruna.

The Spanish Football Federation Competitions' Committee said they had handed out a heavy punishment because it was not the first time the defender had been sent off this season.

Marchena was dismissed in the eighth minute of Wednesday's second leg at the Mestalla after he struck Angel Arizmendi in the face as the Deportivo striker headed towards goal.

The Spanish international told the Canal Nou television station he regretted the incident.

'I didn't intend to hurt him,' he said. 'I'm sorry about what happened and I'm relieved I didn't do him any damage.'

Despite losing Marchena, Valencia scored before halftime to level the tie 1-1 on aggregate but the referee abandoned the game moments later after a linesman was hit by an object thrown by the crowd.

The remaining 46 minutes will be played behind closed doors at the Mestalla next Wednesday.

Marchena will miss Valencia's next two league games as well as the remainder of the King's Cup second leg against Deportivo and the first leg of a possible semi-final against Espanyol.