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(Reuters) - Seattle Sounders striker Clint Dempsey has been banned from the U.S Open Cup for at least two years after an incident in which he was sent off for ripping up a referee's notebook.
United States international Dempsey has already been suspended for three games by Major League Soccer (MLS) after the incident in which he was given a red card.
The United States Soccer Federation said in a statement that Dempsey had been banned for “a total of six U.S. Open Cup matches or the next two years of U.S. Open Cup competition, whichever is greater. In addition, Dempsey has been fined an undisclosed amount.”
The former Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur forward has waived his right to appeal the decision which related to the U.S. Open Cup match between Seattle and the Portland Timbers on June 16.
Dempsey lost his cool after the Sounders' Michael Azira was sent off, leaving Seattle with eight players.
He took referee Daniel Radford’s notebook and threw it to the ground, earning a yellow card for dissent. Dempsey then tore up the notbeook, drawing a straight red card for abuse.
Since MLS clubs enter the U.S. Open Cup in the later rounds, Dempsey could miss more than two years of the competition.
“Due to the suspension, Dempsey cannot play in any U.S. Open Cup matches in 2016 or 2017, and possibly longer depending on the number of tournament games in which Dempsey's team participates in those years,” said the statement.
The Sounders have appeared in five of the last six U.S. Open Cup finals, winning four.
Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Ken Ferris