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Sion chief declares ‘war’ on Swiss league over stadium ban for slapping

Sion chief declares ‘war’ on Swiss league over stadium ban for slapping

Sion president Christian Constantin
Sion president Christian Constantin was filmed slapping former Switzerland coach Rolf Fringer.

Sion president Christian Constantin has been hit with a 14-month stadium ban for slapping former Switzerland coach Rolf Fringer, but plans to attend the club’s home game on Sunday.

On Sept. 21, Constantin was filmed slapping Fringer seconds before a postmatch interview following Sion’s 2-1 Swiss Super League win at Lugano.

Fringer had been working as a TV pundit for Teleclub and later called the attack “unbelievable,” while Constantin argued he “straightened things out” after he had been “verbally attacked” by the 60-year-old.

Constantin also said he would press charges against Fringer for “defamation and libel.”

On Thursday, Constantin was given a 14-month stadium ban and a 100,000 Swiss francs fine by the Swiss Football League (SFL).

“The violent behaviour of Christian Constantin against Rolf Fringer, which [Constantin] doesn’t deny, is clearly a violation of the rules of conduct,” the SFL said in a statement.

Constantin can appeal the ruling within the next five days and is allowed to remain in his role as Sion president.

Speaking to La Matin, Constantin said he will not bow down to the ruling and instead declared “war” on the Swiss league.

“It makes me laugh,” Constantin said about the punishment. “I take note of the verdict. It shows the incompetence of the disciplinary committee. I was not summoned, I was not heard.

“If they want war, they will get a war. We will see who will stand and who will be on the ground after that.”

Constantin also said he would be attending Sion’s upcoming home game against St Gallen at the Stade Tourbillon on Sunday, despite the ban.

“Why shouldn’t I be there?” he said. “I pay the rent for the Tourbillon. If someone told me that I can’t sleep in my bed, I’d still do it, wouldn’t I?”

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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