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Mexico players banned for hotel incident

Marco Fabian, one of the involved players, celebrates after scoring for Mexico against Ecuador on Saturday.
Marco Fabian, one of the involved players, celebrates after scoring for Mexico against Ecuador on Saturday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eight Mexico players suspended for six months and fined after hotel incident
  • They were caught bringing women back to team hotel in Ecuador ahead of Copa America
  • Mexico team is one two guest nations at the South American tournament
  • Brazil's Samba Queens win their opening game of Women's World Cup in Germany
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(CNN) -- The Mexican Football Federation has banned eight players from taking part at next month's Copa America tournament in Argentina after they were caught bringing women back to the team hotel.

The octet were suspended for sixth months and fined more than $4,000 each following the incident after a friendly match in Quito, Ecuador, on Saturday.

Jonathan dos Santos, a reserve-team player for European champions Barcelona, was banned along with Mexico-based Israel Jimenez, Nestor Vidrio, Marco Fabian, Jorge Hernandez, Javier Cortes, Nestor Calderon and David Cabrera.

"The players already confessed and are full of remorse. They have apologized to the team, the supporters, the technical commission, and to the federation and have said they'll take responsibility for their actions," Mexican federation director Hector Gonzalez Inarritu told reporters at a press conference in Mexico City.

River Plate's fate a warning to Latin American giants

The July 1-24 tournament features 10 South American teams plus guest nations Mexico and Costa Rica.

Mexico, which won the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in the U.S. this month, will take a 23-man squad made up mainly of players aged under 22. The eight replacements all came from Mexican clubs.

It is the third soccer scandal to hit the Central American nation in the past year.

Five other international players were banned after testing positive for the banned drug clenbuterol at the end of May, which the federation's secretary general Decio de Maria blamed on bad meat they had eaten.

Last September, Carlos Vela and Efrain Juarez were given six-month bans and 11 teammates were fined for holding a party at a team hotel after a friendly against Colombia in Monterrey that month.

Mexico moved up to ninth place in the world rankings after beating the United States in Saturday's Gold Cup final, returning to the top-10 for the first time since July 2007.

Meanwhile, in Wednesday's matches at the Women's World Cup in Germany, Brazil beat Australia 1-0 as Rosana scored the only goal in the second half for the 2007 runners-up.

The defender pounced to fire home a loose ball nine minutes after halftime to give the Samba Queens a winning start to their Group D campaign in Monchengladbach.

Brazil will next play 1995 champions Norway, who earlier beat tournament debutants Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in Augsburg.

Emilie Haavi scored the only goal in the 84th minute after the Africans' goalkeeper Miriam failed to deal with a low cross by Leni Laursen Kaurin, with the 19-year-old netting for the fifth time in just nine internationals.

Thursday's Group A matches see two-time defending champions Germany host Nigeria and Canada take on France.