- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MEXICO CITY (AP) - The Mexican Soccer Federation has suspended national team defender Rafael Marquez for two matches for unsportsmanlike behavior during the Feb. 11 U.S.-Mexico match.

Marquez, who plays for Barcelona in the Spanish league, will have to sit out Mexico’s March 28 World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica and the April 1 matchup with Honduras.

The sanction was for Marquez’s kick to the leg of U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard. Marquez, the team captain, was sent off and Mexico lost 2-0 in the opening game of the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for next year’s World Cup.

The federation’s disciplinary commission also issued the same suspension against assistant manager Francisco Ramirez.

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