Football Ground >> Aussie Keeper Banned 15 Months
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|2/26/08 11:48 AM|
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Pretty stupid thing to do, but I doubt there are any among us who haven't wanted to slap a ref at some point SYDNEY, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Central Coast goalkeeper Danny Vukovic has been banned for 15 months for manhandling referee Mark Shield in Sunday's Australian A-League grand final loss to Newcastle. The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) disciplinary committee found Vukovic guilty of violent conduct on Monday after he appeared to slap Shield's hand in the final minute of the match. The suspension was reduced to nine months with the remaining six months to be served under probation, meaning Vukovic will be eligible to resume playing in the A-League in November. "If Vukovic re-offends in the 12 month period after 24 November 2008, he will be required to serve the remaining six months of his 15 month suspension (in addition to any new sanction)," the FFA said in a statement. The ban only relates to the A-League but the FFA are considering extending it to all matches, ruling Vukovic out of this year's Beijing Olympics, where he was expected to represent Australia. The incident occurred as Central Coast players began remonstrating with Shield when he failed to award them a penalty for a blatant handball by Newcastle midfielder James Holland. A penalty would have given Central Coast the chance of an equaliser that would have forced the championship decider into extra-time but Shield waved away their pleas. Central Coast executive chairman Lyall Gorman told reporters before the verdict was announced that Vukovic had not intended to strike the referee but had apologised to him anyway. "Danny spoke to Mark after the game," Gorman said. "He was full of emotion as you can imagine, he wasn't clear if there was any contact with the referee but apologised to Mark if there was." (Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by John O'Brien
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