Club Brugge KV have suspended Peruvian striker Andrés Mendoza for three games for a breach of discipline, ruling him out of their next two UEFA Champions League matches.
Mendoza and Yugoslavian forward Bratislav Rustic were both sanctioned after a dispute in training, but the latter's suspension is for just one game, meaning he will only miss this weekend's league fixture against R. Charleroi SC.
However, Mendoza will not play in the Group H home ties against Galatasaray SK on Wednesday and FC Barcelona the following Tuesday, 29 October. Brugge have no domestic match on the weekend of 26-27 October after their fixture with RSC Anderlecht was postponed.
"I don't want to speculate or say exactly what happened," Brugge coach Trond Sollied said, although it is understood the two players clashed on the training ground on Monday. Mendoza apologised to Sollied in front of his team-mates but Brugge have still decided to discipline the 24-year-old, who received a one-match ban last season after another training-ground altercation.
'A very tough decision'
Speaking to uefa.com Sollied added: "I hope he now understands. It's a very tough decision but it's the kind of decision that makes the group stronger. If the player thinks he is bigger than the group he's wrong. I have options to replace him." Mendoza has been struggling for form lately and it appeared his frustration boiled over in Monday's incident.
The Peruvian's absence will not help Brugge, who are already missing defender Marek Spilár, midfield player Serhiy Serebrennikov and forward Rune Lange because of injuries. Although top of the Belgian first division, they lie third in Group H with two points from three games.
On the plus side, midfield player Gaëtan Englebert is fit again after injury and Bengt Sæternes may also be available again soon. Sollied said: "What is important is that the group remains strong and we have a lot of guys ready to play in case of injuries."
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