Quito (AFP) – A football player in Ecuador was fined $1,200 Monday for kissing the ball in breach of hygiene rules brought in to combat the coronavirus.

Argentine midfielder Sergio Lopez, who plays for Quito-based Aucas in the country’s top-tier Liga Pro, became the first player to face sanction under the new rules, after making the offending gesture following his side’s 1-0 win over Macara on Friday.

The league’s disciplinary committee said Lopez was sanctioned for kissing the ball.

A raft of new rules have been introduced for league games, which returned in August after a five-month stoppage because of the pandemic.

Five other players were fined $1,200 for swapping shirts, which is also banned, in a match on August 16.

And two teams were fined for not falling in line with new rules: Liga de Portoviejo for not providing a first aid kit; and Barcelona SC for not providing sanitizing gel or alcohol.

Ecuador has recorded 114,000 infections and nearly 6,600 deaths due to the coronavirus. Authorities have also reported about 3,700 additional deaths likely due to the virus.