Football: El Salvador duo banned for biting US players

American Clint Dempsey (left) battles El Salvador's Darwin Ceren during their CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal match on July 19, 2017.
American Clint Dempsey (left) battles El Salvador's Darwin Ceren during their CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal match on July 19, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Two El Salvador players have been handed suspensions for biting American opponents during the Gold Cup quarter-finals, football's regional governing body for North America CONCACAF announced on Saturday.

Henry Romero was given a six-game ban while Darwin Ceren received a three-match suspension for separate incidents that occurred during the United States' 2-0 win over El Salvador on Wednesday.

Romero bit US striker Jozy Altidore on the back of his shoulder while Cerin bit American defender Omar Gonzalez in the second half.

CONCACAF announced the sanctions for the players' "anti-sporting behaviour" just before the US kicked off its semi-final match against Costa Rica which the Americans went on to win 2-0.

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El Salvador has been eliminated from 2018 World Cup qualifying, so the suspensions will likely be served during the next Copa Centroamericana or qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup when they begin in 2019.