Getafe's Alvaro Pereira gets 8-match ban for La Plata brawl
Former Porto and Inter Milan full-back Alvaro Pereira, who was headed from Estudiantes to Getafe on loan until the end of the season, will see his La Liga start delayed after he was issued an eight-match ban by the Argentinian Football Federation for his role in a brawl during Sunday's friendly between La Plata rivals Gimnasia and Estudiantes.
The federation confirmed on Thursday an eight-match sanction for the left back and his teammate Mariano Andujar as well as Gimnasia's Nicolas Mazzola.
A total of 20 players and staff from both teams were dealt punishment for their roles in the incident, which saw a mass fight break out between the La Plata rivals after Pereira walloped Facundo Oreja in the side of the head with a flying karate kick. Referee Silvio Trucco was forced to stop the match.
Pereira had joined Getafe on loan on deadline day. The aggression against Oreja was deemed so serious it warranted punishment in excess of the standard four-match ban. The defender will serve the suspension in La Liga and is set to miss upcoming games against Malaga, Atletico Madrid, Levante, Celta, La Palmas, Sevilla, Barcelona and Eibar.
The 30-year-old, who has yet to arrive in Madrid, will be eligible to debut against Rayo Vallecano. The sanction leaves the Spanish club with just one left-back in the squad -- Roberto Lago, who is recovering from injury. Pereira had returned to South America this past season following a disappointing effort at Inter Milan. The Uruguay international had moved to the Serie A giants after winning two league titles and the Europa League during his three years with Porto. During his time at the San Siro, however, he made only 33 league appearances before being sent to Sao Paulo on loan and then permanently switching to Estudiantes.
Getafe are currently 11th in the Primera Division table.
The Argentina federation has been tough on league violence in recent years and the incident came just days after a preseason fixture between Boca Juniors and River Plate featured five red cards and Carlos Tevez being head-butted.
The federation last autumn had approved a test return of visiting team supporters for two Argentine league matches, which marked the first time the ban was lifted since it was imposed in 2013 due to fan violence and deaths.