Soccer-Peru ban Farfan and Pizarro for 18 months

LIMA, March 28 Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:54pm GMT

LIMA, March 28 (Reuters) - Peru have banned strikers Claudio Pizarro and Jefferson Farfan from international football for 18 months as punishment for indiscipline.

Defender Santiago Acasiete and forward Andres Mendoza were also suspended for the same period by a disciplinary tribunal, the Peruvian Football Federation (FPF) said in a statement on Friday.

The quartet had been provisionally banned since December over alleged incidents at the team hotel in Lima after a World Cup qualifier against Brazil in November.

The bans have been backdated to November and effectively mean the four players will miss eight World Cup qualifiers.

Peru have taken just two points from their first four qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup.

The absence of PSV Eindhoven forward Farfan and Chelsea's Pizarro is likely to be a huge blow, although Pizarro has been frequently criticised for his performances for his country.

Peru drew 1-1 with Brazil but were hammered 5-1 by Ecuador three days later when Farfan was left out of the lineup.

Peruvian football has been plagued by in-fighting among the directors for years and the country has not qualified for a World Cup since 1982.

The players are often accused of indiscipline but, in turn, complain of harassment by tabloid newspapers and television stations.

(Reporting by Jean Luis Arce, editing by Ken Ferris)