Denmark coach banned for two games

September 15, 2007
By Associated Press

WUHAN, China -- Denmark's coach received a two-game suspension Saturday for "physical contact" with an assistant referee, adding another incident to the team's turbulent World Cup campaign.

The suspension stemmed from "physical contact" between coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller and the fourth referee at the end of the game against China, FIFA media officer Nicolas Maingot said, without elaborating.

In a statement on the Danish soccer association Web site, Heiner-Moller said he did not remember giving referee Gyongyi Gaal of Hungary a push on the shoulder.

"If I hit her on the shoulder it is because she was standing very close to me at the same time I was trying to get into contact with the players on the field," Heiner-Moller said in the statement, posted in Danish.

Heiner-Moller will be in the stands for Denmark's remaining first-round games, against New Zealand on Saturday and Brazil on Wednesday. Assistant coach Per Nielsen would fill in during the suspension.

Heiner-Moller was also seen gesturing angrily and yelling at China coach Marika Domanski-Lyfors following his team's 3-2 loss Wednesday. He said later that he was frustrated after the loss and had apologized to Domanski-Lyfors for refusing to shake her hand.

Earlier this week, Denmark found two men with video cameras hiding behind a two-way mirror as the team was about to hold a tactical meeting on the eve of its Group D opening match against China.

FIFA has closed the case on the allegations of spying, saying the men with cameras were not related to any other team. But Denmark team officials have demanded more answers, saying they wanted to know who the men were and what they were doing behind the two-way mirror.