Fijian player gets 7-game ban for comments to white referee

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — The Oceania Football Confederation has handed a seven-game ban to a Fijian player who used the phrase "white people" in reference to match officials during an OFC Champions League semifinal match.

The governing body says Lautoka forward Samuela Drudru has also been banned from entering stadiums for "discriminatory behavior." The OFC says a sanction over the mandatory five-game ban reflected "the gravity of the incident."

The referee from New Zealand reported comments Drudru made after being sent off for a second yellow card in the match against Marist of the Solomon Islands on April 22.

Fijian media reported Drudru acknowledged using the phrase "white people."

Without Drudru, Lautoka lost 6-0 to Team Wellington in the first leg of the Champions League final. The return game is on Sunday in Fiji.

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