Referee hits his way into trouble

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A referee is under investigation by football authorities in Brazil after lashing out at a player during a match.

Luiz Vila Nova was in the process of sending off Semilde, a midfield player with Urubuetama, in Sunday's Ceara state championship match against Ferroviario, when he became incensed by something the player said and landed a fierce right hook on his chin.

Semilde responded by kicking the referee, who was then restrained by players. The organisers of the Ceara championship are holding an inquiry into the incident to see if Vila Nova was to blame.

Four managers were yesterday punished for misdemeanours by the Scottish Football Association's Disciplinary Committee in Glasgow.

Dundee United's manager, Billy Kirkwood, and Cowdenbeath's Tom Steven were each fined pounds 500 for a touchline flare-up, while Walter Smith, of Rangers, and Alex Miller, of Hibernian, were both warned as to their future conduct after comments made to a referee.

The Kirkwood and Steven incident came at Cowdenbeath's Central Park on 19 August in the final minutes of a 4-0 victory for United in the Scottish Coca-Cola Cup.

Smith was censored for his comments to the referee Kenneth Clark following a 1-0 Premier Division defeat for his side against Hibernian at Ibrox on 23 September. Miller was also warned for his comments to the same official at half-time in the game.

St Johnstone's manager, Paul Sturrock, has returned home from hospital after collapsing during his side's Bell's First Division match with his former club, Dundee United, on Saturday.

A spokesman at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, said the former Tannadice striker and Scotland international had been under observation in the coronary care unit.

Sturrock was discharged from hospital yesterday afternoon after a number of tests had been carried out. The 39-year-old fitness fanatic was reported not to have suffered a heart attack.