Kolkata : East Bengal striker Jobby Justin and Aizawl FC defender Kareem Omolaja were on Tuesday handed interim suspensions till at least March 3 for an ugly spat during the 1-1 draw in an I-League clash here.
Jobby was suspended for spitting on Kareem after the latter hacked him down with a rough tackle in the 68th minute. The Nigerian was punished for dissent and involvement in a brawl later with East Bengal's Spanish player Borja Gomez.
Kareem was first booked on Monday for his challenge on Jobby and later sent off for dissent in the 70th minute when the teams were locked 1-1.
"We have video evidence of Jobby spitting. He has been showcaused. He will remain suspended till the time the AIFF disciplinary committee meets on March 3," I-League CEO Sunando Dhar told IANS.
"Kareem was also given the same punishment for dissent," he said.
Justin, East Bengal's top scorer with nine goals to his name, will now miss the crunch game against fellow title contenders Real Kashmir FC on Thursday in New Delhi and next match against defending champions Minerva Punjab FC on March 3.
Omolaja will also miss at least one game for relegation threatened Aizawl against fellow stragglers Gokulam Kerala FC on Thursday.
East Bengal, nursing aspirations of a maiden I-League triumph, suffered a huge blow following a 1-1 draw against Aizawl. Justin hit the post in second half stoppage time but could not see his team close the gap on league leaders Chennai City FC.
Second-placed red and golds, on 33 points from 17 matches, are seven points adrift of Chennai who have played a game more.