Vancouver Whitecaps FC announce that the club have fined and suspended defender Wesley Charles and striker Charles Gbeke, as a result of their unsportsmanlike behaviour during the Whitecaps home match versus Miami FC Blues last Friday evening.
On Monday, both Charles and Gbeke received monetary fines for an undisclosed amount from the club before each player was handed a one-match suspension from the United Soccer Leagues, as well as an additional one-match suspension from the club on Tuesday.
As a result, Charles and Gbeke will both miss the Whitecaps away match versus Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon, as well as next Tuesday's road game versus Cleveland City Stars.
"As a club, we do not condone any violent conduct on or off the field," said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi. "The events that took place near the end of Friday’s match are inexcusable and there are consequences the players must now face for their actions. Wesley and Charles are veteran players and have both taken full responsibility for their actions, are remorseful, and accept their discipline."
"First and foremost, I want to apologize to the club for everything that happened, as it should never have happened and was very out of character for me," said Charles. "I also want to apologize to the fans and all of my teammates for letting them down on Friday night."
"I want to apologize to my teammates and coaches, as well as the whole Whitecaps organization," said Gbeke. "I especially want to apologize to the fans because we let them down. The fans have always been gracious and supportive of us, so I'm hoping for their forgiveness and that they give me a second chance. I hope we can grow out of this situation and become closer as a team."
"We have had a chance to speak with all involved parties and we are confident we can put the incident behind us," added head coach Teitur Thordarson. "We are moving forward as a united team."
Both players' fines will be directed to the Whitecaps Foundation, which is dedicated to helping to create British Columbia's fittest generation of youth by 2020. For more information on the Whitecaps Foundation, please visit whitecapsfoundation.org.