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Touchline ban for Swiss football coach

Assistant coach Daniel Romero (right) will take Trossero's place on the bench Keystone Archive

Switzerland coach Enzo Trossero will have to watch Wednesday's World Cup qualifying match against Luxembourg from the stands of Zurich's Hardturm stadium after being handed a one-match touchline ban by FIFA.

Football’s world governing body handed down the ban after studying a report into Trossero’s behaviour during Saturday’s qualifying game in Yugoslavia. The coach was led from the bench in Belgrade after protesting against a number of refereeing decisions in the build-up to Yugoslavia’s opening goal.

In what could be a good omen for Wednesday’s match, the Swiss team did not appear to miss their coach greatly, following Saturday’s expulsion. With Trossero forced to watch the closing stages from the players’ tunnel, Grasshoppers Zurich striker Stéphane Chapuisat headed in a late equaliser to keep Switzerland’s World Cup hopes alive.

After hearing of his ban on Tuesday, Trossero said that the team would not be affected. He added that his assistant coach and fellow Argentinian, Daniel Romeo, will deputise for him on the bench.

“Romeo has my full confidence,” Trossero insisted. “He knows my ideas and outlook. We’ll also go over everything before the match. I don’t see any handicap for the team.”

Since losing their opening home match against Russia, the Swiss national side have made steady improvements in their recent games. After a comfortable 5-1 home win over the Faroe Islands, Trossero’s men have now pulled off two unexpected away draws in Slovenia and Yugoslavia.

On Wednesday, Switzerland could theoretically go top of their qualifying group with a win over struggling Luxembourg. For that to happen, though, the Swiss would need other results to go their way, including an unlikely win for the Faroe Islands in Russia.

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