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Meshack Motloung and Linda Moreotsene
Maritzburg United defender Gary Goldstone has been slapped with a R30000 fine by his club for unsporting behaviour, R10000 of which was suspended for a season.
The balance of R20000 is payable in two equal instalments on September 30 and October 30.
This comes after Goldstone elbowed Kaizer Chiefs' striker Tshepo Bulu during their Absa Premiership game at Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday.
Bulu was rushed to hospital after the challenge and was later discharged. He was asked to return for an operation the following morning.
The disciplinary committee's finding was that Goldstone wrongfully committed a professional foul on Bulu.
Goldstone, who said he was sorry, pleaded guilty to the charge.
In mitigation of sanction, Goldstone, according to the club's website, made the following submission:
l He has an unblemished record for a period of 10 years.
l He has apologised to Tshepo Bulu publicly through the print media for what he termed an unfortunate incident.
l He has attempted to contact the player on several occasions, but unsuccessfully.
l He had no intent to cause any physical harm.
l He has apologised to his own teammates and the coach.
l He regards what happened as unacceptable behaviour on his part and expresses sincere remorse.
Goldstone said: "I'm disappointed in myself that my infringement clouded our victory. I admit I was trying to commit a professional foul, but that boy is so quick and he sold me a dummy.
"I wasn't trying to hurt the player. He was going to get past me, so I wanted to do what most defenders would do and body-check him. But he sold me a dummy and my arm hit his face."
Bulu has been instructed not to speak to the media.
The striker's nose was broken when he was struck in the face by Goldstone.
Consequently, Muhsin Ertugral will have to do without the promising 23-year-old going into the MTN8 final against Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday.
While Bulu is believed to be nursing a swollen face, he will no doubt be disappointed to have to sit out the biggest match of his career, after making an impression on the coach to be in the starting line-up.
Ertugral yesterday told the club's website that Bulu would be out for a month.
"His nose is fractured and his face is badly swollen. He must wait until the swelling has gone down and then he will be seen by a specialist," said Ertugral.
Chiefs' PRO Luthando Zibeko said the team had gagged the player because "we do not want to create a sensation".
Meanwhile, the PSL disciplinary committee has charged Goldstone with assault and unsporting behaviour. His case will be heard tomorrow.