Federation backs Scolari's appeal against four-match ban

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Lisbon, Sept 25: Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari received a vote of confidence from the country's soccer federation despite his four-match suspension by UEFA.

Brazilian Scolari, who was banned last week, has apologised for lashing out at Serbian player Ivica Dragutinovic after their 1-1 draw in a Euro 2008 qualifier on Sept. 12.

''He should not have acted in that way but the board of directors decided unanimously to reiterate their support to Scolari and formally support his appeal to UEFA,'' Portuguese Soccer Federation president Gilberto Madail said in a statement yesterday.

If Scolari's suspension is upheld, it could affect the team during their final qualifying matches for Euro 2008.

Scolari said after hearing the punishment last week: ''Although I have recognised with all honesty my mistake, I think the sanction is excessive.

''The player who started this whole situation (Dragutinovic) was suspended for two games. That is why I will appeal this decision.'' he said.

The UEFA Control and Appeals body will hear the appeal on October 4.

Reuters>

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