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Man United players celebrate

The Toe Poke
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By ESPN Staff

Larsson banned for punching opponent

STOCKHOLM, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Former Barcelona and Celtic striker Henrik Larsson, now with Swedish side Helsingborg, has been suspended for punching an opponent and will miss his side's next two matches, the Swedish FA said on Friday.

The August 19 incident, missed by the referee but caught on television, promped an investigation by the association who took statements from Larsson and Elfsborg defender Jon Jonsson.

'It is the competition committee's consideration that the blow took place in retaliation for Jonsson's actions against Larsson and not to get himself loose,' the committe said.

'Larsson has therefore gone against current regulations and shall be penalised,' it added in a statement.

Larsson said in his statement he had not used his fist but pushed Jonsson in the stomach with his open hand and that the blow was not hard. The two games Larsson will miss include one against Helsingborg's local south Sweden rivals Malmo.