Moscow - Andre Villas-Boas' future as manager of Russian
champions Zenit St Petersburg appeared to hang in the balance on Friday after
he was handed a six-match ban.
On Thursday, the Russia Football Union (RFU) disciplinary
panel banned the former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham coach for six matches for
pushing the reserve referee during Zenit's league game with newly-promoted
promoted Samara, which Zenit lost 3-1.
Villas-Boas refused to comment on the decision but the head
of the disciplinary panel,Artur Grigoryants, said the Portuguese manager had
presented his apologies for his behaviour.
"Andre (Villas-Boas) apologised to the referee," Grigoryants
said. "He said it has been a temporary loss of concentration."
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However, he suggested the ban may be partially suspended.
"The penalty may be suspended after Villas-Boas serves
at least at two matches," Grigoryants said.
The club, meanwhile, expressed their concern about the
"For Zenit the ban of the club's manager is definitely
a serious problem," a club statement read.
"The club will announce the decision on the case after
discussing the situation with its head coach."
Villas-Boas, 37, has already disclosed he had asked Zenit to
release him from his contract at the end of last season but the club had
Meanwhile, Zenit's lacklustre league performances have
angered the club's supporters, who directed abusive chamts at Villas-Boas
during the Samara match, demanding his sacking.
There were also rumours that Zenit were in talks with former
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp as a possible successor.
Zenit are currently third in the Russian Premier League, six
points behind the leaders CSKA.
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