Posted: Thursday January 5, 2012 11:36 AM

Schalke midfielder Jones banned for 8 weeks

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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones has been banned for eight weeks after being found guilty of intentionally stepping on an opponent's injured foot.

The United States international will miss six Bundesliga matches and two Europa League games.

Schalke could have appealed against the penalty but decided Thursday to accept the punishment.

The German football federation's disciplinary panel found Jones had intentionally stepped on the left foot of Borussia Moenchengladbach midfielder Marco Reus during a Bundesliga match last month. Reus was nursing a broken left small toe and was playing with a specially designed shoe. He still scored two goals in a 3-1 win for his team.

The incident early in the game was not noticed by the referee, but was caught by television cameras. The disciplinary panel used video footage to file "grave misconduct'' charges against Jones, who was sent off at the end of the match in an unrelated incident. It was the fourth red card of his career.

Jones is banned from any official and friendly matches until March 1.

Schalke general manager Horst Heldt initially said the club would launch an appeal, but he later accepted the verdict.

"We consulted among ourselves and with others, we explored all possibilities to influence the verdict but the chances are virtually nil,'' Heldt told reporters in Doha, Qatar, where Schalke is preparing for the second half of the season.

Jones, who has made 14 appearances for the U.S. national team, apologized to Reus shortly after the incident.

Reus is considered one of Germany's greatest talents and announced Wednesday that he would move to Borussia Dortmund, last season's champion, from next season.

 
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