ASUNCION – The South American Soccer Confederation (Conmebol) has ruled against Brazil’s Gremio, which asked the regional soccer body last week to overturn its loss to River Plate in the Copa Libertadores semifinals because the Argentine club’s manager, Marcelo Gallardo, violated the terms of his suspension.
Conmebol said on Saturday that it would not award Gremio, the regional tournament’s defending champion, the match.
The regional soccer body slapped a four-match suspension on Gallardo and barred him from coaching River Plate during the Copa Libertadores final against Argentine archrival Boca Junior.
The Conmebol disciplinary committee said it would not throw out River Plate’s 2-1 win over Gremio on Oct. 30.
In addition to the suspension, the 42-year-old Gallardo will have to pay a $50,000 fine, Conmebol said.
The disciplinary committee warned Gallardo that any further violations would not be tolerated.
Conmebol, however, said the Argentine manager had the right to appeal the penalties.
Gallardo had been slapped with a one-match suspension by Conmebol, preventing him from leading his club in its Copa Libertadores semifinals second-leg match against Gremio.
Defending champion Gremio entered the match with an advantage over River Plate following its victory in the first leg of the series.
Conmebol rules barred Gallardo from having contact with his players while suspended, Gremio general counsel Nestor Hein told Argentina’s TN, adding that the Brazilian club asked the regional soccer body to impose a “points penalty” on River Plate.
“Gallardo was very tricky. He had been suspended by Conmebol and put on a hat and went into River’s locker room at the half and gave instructions to his players,” Hein said.
Gallardo did not deny that he violated the terms of his suspension, saying the penalty was unfair because it “violates your right and freedom to work.”