Hong Kong winger Lee Kin-wo was given the most lenient punishment possible by the Hong Kong Football Association last night for his part in a bizarre ref-attacks-player incident during an interport match between Macau and the SAR last month. Lee was handed a one-year ban, the minimum punishment for offences of this kind according to Asian Football Confederation rules, from all competitions including the domestic First Division after kicking the ball at Macau referee Choi Kuok-kun. The 32-year-old player, who was present to face the wrath of the FA at its disciplinary committee meeting last night, said he accepted the punishment but ruled out an early retirement. 'I haven't thought about retiring yet. I'll keep my fitness, hopefully. I could return to play in the league after the ban,' said Lee, who was also fined $10,000. The former Hong Kong international got away with a relatively lenient punishment considering the Macau FA had earlier handed a life ban to Choi, who responded to Lee's assault by throwing punches at the back of his head. 'We tried to come up with a fair decision. Ken [Ng-kin, HKFA's vice-chairman] met the AFC chief [Peter Velappan] in Malaysia and we confirmed that it is the least penalty we had to impose on Lee,' HKFA chairman Martin Hong Po-kui said. Hong said they decided against coming down hard on Lee because he had made a big contribution to the game here and had confessed about his wrongdoing publicly. 'We've taken many things into consideration. He had played for Hong Kong for many years [before he retired internationally early this year] and has showed good disciplinary conduct before this incident. It's important that he made a public apology for what he had done,' Hong said. Lee added it was unlikely that he will appeal although he was entitled to within the coming week. And he said he had no immediate plans for the coming year. 'I have to talk to Peter [Leung Shou-chi, a South China official] about my contract. Then I'll think about what I'm going to do next,' Lee said. The trouble erupted towards the end of the international friendly after Lee was given his marching orders by Choi for launching an abusive tirade at the official after having a free kick awarded against him. Lee reacted by kicking the ball at Choi while the referee retaliated by attacking Lee, who also hit back. Lee played for the Hong Kong side, made up of mostly South China players, because the SAR were in short supply of players for the match. FA vice-chairman Ng said he hoped all the players and teams in Hong Kong had learnt a lesson. 'We hope it now become crystal clear to everyone that players can't attack a referee under any circumstances. We want everybody to be more alert to the seriousness of the offence,' Ng said. The FA will inform the Macau FA of the decision and send a report to the AFC. Neither Macau FA's chairman Andy Chui Vai-pui nor senior official Alexandre Rego were available for comment last night.