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Suspended Sentence for Paraguay’s Goalkeeper

September 5, 1996

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ Goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert of Paraguay drew a three-month suspended jail term Thursday for hitting an employee of a rival club two years ago, and the court called for Chilavert to be banned from playing for 13 months.

However, an Argentine Football Association official called the request for a suspension ``ridiculous,″ and said Chilavert would continue playing for league champion Velez Sarsfield.

Chilavert accused the court of acting out of spite because of his goal against Argentina from a free-kick Sunday in a World Cup qualifier which ended 1-1.

The goalkeeper said he would appeal the ruling.

The 1994 incident occurred when Chilavert, surrounded by several teammates, struck an employee of rival club Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata as he was leaving the field.

Chilavert is known for his combative style. He has frequently clashed with opposing players and hit an Argentine photographer when leaving his hotel before Sunday’s match.

After promising all week to score in Sunday’s match, he fulfilled his prediction in stunning fashion, with a goal shortly before halftime from a 25-yard free-kick.

It was the 32nd goal of Chilavert’s career, four of which came from free-kicks and the rest from penalties.

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