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Andre Villas-Boas escapes ban over Guangzhou car crash allegations

Andre Villas-Boas previews SIPG's semifinal first leg of the AFC Champions League against Urawa.
Guangzhou Evergrande fell short in their epic comeback, losing 5-4 on penalties to nine-man Shanghai SIPG.

Andre Villas-Boas has escaped suspension from the first leg of the Asian Champions League semifinal after he was investigated for suggesting Guangzhou Evergrande had been responsible for car crashes that disrupted Shanghai SIPG's route to the quarterfinal second leg.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) launched its investigation after SIPG boss Villas-Boas launched a broadside against both it and Evergrande at his postmatch news conference.

The former Chelsea and Tottenham coach was fined and warned about his future conduct, but will be on the touchline for the game against Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds on Wednesday.

"The Asian Football Confederation disciplinary and ethics committee has decided to fine Andre Villas-Boas for offensive words at the referee and comments made at the postmatch press conference," an AFC statement said.

"Villas-Boas was found in breach of Article 50.1 of the AFC Disciplinary and Ethics Code [bringing the game into disrepute]."

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Villas-Boas had criticised the AFC disciplinary committee following his side's win over Evergrande, accusing it of favouritism.

He said Zhang Linpeng should have been suspended for the quarterfinal second leg "because he used his elbow in the first game and he's not suspended because the committee of ethics and discipline at AFC did not judge an elbow as violent conduct."

And he alleged that his side's route to the match had been deliberately obstructed, adding: "We come here on the bus for this game and the same two cars separately had three accidents in front of us. This is the problem.

"This club can do everything -- they can cause accidents in front of us, they have players who can elbow and not be suspended -- and yet we won."

Villas-Boas has already served a two-game ban in the Chinese Super League after showing support for Oscar on social media after the ex-Chelsea man was handed an eight-game ban.

He was sent to the stands for questioning refereeing decisions during Friday's 1-0 win over Beijing Guoan.

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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