Chelsea defender banned for spitting at referee

The Chelsea and Serbia defender Slobodan Rajkovic has been suspended from football for 12 months by football's world governing body, Fifa, for spitting at the referee during a match at the Olympics.

The youngster, who is currently on loan at the Dutch side FC Twente, spat at referee Abdullah Al Hilali after he was sent off in his side's 2-0 defeat by Argentina in the group stages. A statement from Fifa released yesterday read: "At its 1 September 2008 meeting, the Fifa Disciplinary Committee decided to suspend Slobodan Rajkovic (Serbia) for 12 months for spitting at the referee on 13 August 2008 after the Argentina v Serbia match at the Olympic Football Tournaments.

"This suspension applies to all national and international matches including club competitions. This decision may be appealed."

Rajkovic, 19, was signed by Chelsea from OFK Belgrade in 2005 when he was 16, but was immediately loaned back to the Serbian club until the end of the 2006/7 season.

The teenager, who has three caps for the Serbia national team, spent last season on loan at Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven, but played only 13 Eredivisie games. He joined Steve McClaren's Twente on a year's loan in July and was an unused substitute in their first league game of the season last Saturday.

Adrian Mutu has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against Fifa's order to pay €17.17m (£13.87m) compensation to Chelsea.

Fifa handed down the order in May, telling the Fiorentina and Romania forward that he must compensate the club that sacked him in 2004 following a positive test for cocaine.

A CAS statement said: "Mutu requests the CAS to annul the Fifa decision and to establish that no compensation is in fact due." No date has yet been set for a hearing.

The fine handed to Mutu was the largest ever from Fifa, and was based on the length of his contract left to run when he was sacked.

Chelsea signed Mutu from Parma for €22.4m in 2003, one of the first players to join in the Roman Abramovich revolution, but the player failed to settle at Stamford Bridge.

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