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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Alania's Title Hopes in Doubt As Key Defender Suspended

Alania Vladikavkaz's hopes of retaining the Russian soccer championship suffered a serious blow when key defender Omari Tetradze was suspended for the final three games of the season for pushing a linesman.

Tetradze became the second Alania defender to be forced to miss the rest of the season after he shoved the linesman during a bad-tempered 2-0 defeat away to CSKA Moscow on Saturday which left his side in fourth place, three points behind leaders Rotor Volgograd.

"Tetradze was disqualified for three games and it is just a coincidence that he will be banned until the end of the season," said Anatoly Gorokhovsky, the head of the Russian Federation soccer league's disciplinary committee Wednesday.

Last week the committee disqualified Alania defender Sergei Timofeyev for an unlimited period after he elbowed Lokomotiv Moscow's Andrei Solomatin in the face, breaking his cheekbone. That game, played in Moscow in late September, ended in a scoreless draw.

Gorokhovsky, speaking by telephone, said the committee would decide later in the year when and whether to lift Timofeyev's suspension.

Alania, which has always had a reputation for physical play, ended the match against CSKA with 10 men after midfielder Inal Dzhioyev was sent off in the second half.

The loss of Tetradze -- who also plays for the national side -- could not have come at a worse time, and the most likely team to catch Rotor now looks to be 1994 champion Spartak Moscow, which is in second place just one point off the lead.