HONG KONG (Reuters) - Guangzhou Evergrande’s hopes of defending their Chinese Super League (CSL) title have taken a hit after Brazilian striker Alan was given an eight game ban that will rule him out until after the World Cup in Russia.
The 28-year-old striker was given the suspension and a 56,000 yuan ($8,918) fine by the Chinese Football Association after he was sent off during Evergrande’s 1-0 win over Tianjin Quanjian last month for elbowing defender Liu Yiming.
Alan has scored six times in four league games for Guangzhou this season with his club trailing leaders Shanghai SIPG by three points.
The forward has already served the first of his eight game ban and will be available to return to action in Evergrande’s meeting with SIPG on July 21.
Guangzhou are aiming for a record-extending eighth straight CSL title and have won their last four games in a row in the competition after beginning the campaign with a defeat by city rivals Guangzhou R&F.
The club is also competing in the Asian Champions League, which they have won twice, and face Cerezo Osaka next week for a place in the last 16.
The suspension of Alan, who has won two league titles since joining the club midway through 2015 from Austrian side Salzburg, does not extend to the continental championship.
($1 = 6.2793 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Christian Radnedge