October 20, 2017 / 3:36 PM / a month ago

Touchline ban could mean end for Scolari

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Guangzhou Evergrande manager Luiz Felipe Scolari was handed a three-game touchline ban by the Chinese Football Association on Friday, that could mean the Brazilian World Cup winning coach has appeared in the club’s dugout for the final time.

Guangzhou Evergrande's head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari looks at his players before their Club World Cup third-place soccer match against Japan's Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan, December 20, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai Picture Supplied by Action Images

Scolari received the punishment after being sent to the stands for questioning refereeing decisions during his side’s dramatic 4-3 win over Yanbian Funde in the Chinese Super League last week.

With only three games remaining, the ban means Scolari will not be allowed to appear on the Guangzhou bench again before the end of the season.

The sanction could also mean Scolari has made his last appearance on the sidelines as Guangzhou coach, with the 68-year-old yet to sign an extension to his current deal, due to expire on Nov. 30.

Guangzhou could clinch a record seventh straight CSL title this weekend when Scolari’s team take on Guizhou Zhicheng.

Victory over Gregorio Manzano’s team and a defeat for Andre Villas-Boas’s Shanghai SIPG against Guangzhou R&F would be enough to hand Evergrande the title, with the head-to-head record between teams counting as the tie breaker.

Scolari joined Guangzhou in June 2015 as a replacement for Italian Fabio Cannavaro, another World Cup winner, and the Brazilian has already steered the club to two league titles, the Asian Champions League crown in 2015 and the Chinese FA Cup last year.

They were knocked out of the latter two competitions this year by big-spending SIPG.

Reporting by Michael Church in Hong Kong, Editing by Christian Radnedge

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