Guerrero issues apology after appeal fails

August 27, 2008

Peru striker Paolo Guerrero has apologised for verbally abusing referee Pablo Pozo during his side's 6-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Uruguay in June.

Guerrero was dismissed for excessively protesting against a penalty decision and was banned by FIFA for six games, ruling him out of Peru's qualifying campaign until June 6 2009.

Despite the 24-year-old's repentance for his actions, FIFA have dismissed an appeal from the Peruvian Football Federation to reduce the suspension.

Guerrero told Radio CPN: 'I am disappointed with FIFA's response. It's difficult but I have to think about the next step and I cannot repeat this.

'I apologise for my reaction. I hope people can understand it. I was angry because I didn't make the foul which led to the penalty. It was a bad reaction though.'

The Hamburg striker continued to plead his innocence, however, adding: 'I wanted him (Pozo) to explain his decision. We were 1-0 down and the referee was blowing fouls I didn't commit. When he blew for the penalty, I couldn't believe it.

'I have been punished because of something I didn't do.'

Peru, who are bottom of the South American Qualifying Zone on three points, resume their campaign with the visit of Venezuela on September 6.

Four days later they will host Argentina at the Estadio Monumental in Lima.