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By ESPN Staff
Apr 30, 2008

Striker has ban cut after attack on team-mate

SINGAPORE, April 30 (Reuters) - Singaporean striker Noh Alam Shah has had a one-year ban for attacking an international team mate reduced to seven months, after an appeals panel agreed 'serious unresolved personal and family problems' had impaired his judgement at the time of the attack.

Alam Shah, one of Southeast Asia's most prolific front men, was banned for a year after kneeing Daniel Bennett in the head and kicking him in the back as he lay injured during last November's Singaporean Cup final.

The ban was ratified by soccer's world governing body FIFA, who confirmed it was a global sanction.

The Football Association of Singapore on Wednesday noted that a global sanction on the Tampines Rovers player had not been the intention of its disciplinary committee when imposing the sanction in December.

'There is no dispute in this case that Alam Shah was guilty of violent conduct and aggressive behaviour which are serious breaches,' the FAS said in a statement.

'The issue that the appeals committee had to address was the duration of the suspension to be imposed that is proportionate.'

The FAS said they has considered Alam Shah's plea that he had serious unresolved personal and family problems during the period leading up to and during the cup final.

'The appeals committee was satisfied that these problems weighed heavily on Alam Shah's mind and impaired his judgement and frame of mind. The disciplinary committee had not considered this factor.

'Alam Shah had not brought it to their attention as he had felt then that it was a private family matter and did not wish it to be made public.

'The suspension of one year, which is now global - which had not been the intention - will effectively debar him from earning his livelihood as a professional football player for the period in question.

'As a result, there is a difficulty in him meeting financial commitments and providing for his five children aged between one and eight years of age.

'He has also expressed remorse and apologised for his unwarranted violent conduct and aggressive behaviour,' FAS said in announcing the reduction of the ban.

The 28-year-old will now serve his suspension up to July 9.

He will miss at least 16 S.League matches and 3 Singapore Cup matches as well as the entire third round of Singapore's World Cup qualifying campaign.