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Audax Italiano forward Sebastian Pol sorry for attacking fan during game

Audax Italiano forward Sebastian Pol has publicly apologised after kicking a spectator during a Chilean top-flight game at the weekend, resulting in the 28-year-old being detained overnight by police.

TV images showed Pol climbing on to a fence at the San Carlos de Apoquindo stadium and kicking a spectator in the chest after his team's 4-1 defeat at Universidad Catolica on Saturday.

The fan, Cristobal Astorquiza, told local media he did not suffer any serious injuries as he covered his chest with his arms prior to impact.

Argentine striker Pol was then arrested by police in the changing room for charges relating to violence in stadiums.

He was released on Sunday and El Grafico quoted him as saying: "The truth is that I'm full of regret. My intention was never to harm anyone. I apologise. It will never happen again.

"I understand that what I did was wrong. I didn't want to hit him, I just wanted to frighten him. I apologise to him profusely."

Asked about the reason for his reaction, Pol said: "He insulted me and spit on me. I have the support of my family and of my club, but I'm the one to blame."

According to El Grafico, Pol, who joined Audax in 2014 and has played for teams in Costa Rica, Romania and Bolivia in the past, has been provisionally banned from attending any sporting events for the next 20 days and could face up to a 10-match suspension from the Chilean football league.

Saturday's incident brought back memories of a similar episode that took place in the Premier League 21 years ago.

In a game at Crystal Palace, Manchester United player Eric Cantona jumped over advertising boards and launched a kick directed at Matthew Simmons, a local fan who had insulted him after the Frenchman had been sent off.

Cantona was sentenced to 14 days in prison by a magistrate after pleading guilty to common assault, but that was later overturned by a judge. He was given 120 hours' community service instead and also served an eight-month ban from football.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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