Published By: Ritayan Basu
Last Updated: March 21, 2023, 18:10 IST
Fulham star Alexander Mitrovic (AP)
FA said the automatic three-match ban for violent conduct towards a referee is “clearly insufficient”
Fulham striker Alexander Mitrovic is set to be handed a lengthy ban that could sideline him for the rest of the season. The 28-year-old Serbia international was sent off for shoving referee Chris Kavanagh during Fulham’s 3-1 loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday. While announcing that Mitrovic had been officially charged and reprimanded for his actions, FA hinted that the Serbian could face a potential lengthy ban.
In a statement, FA said the automatic three-match ban for violent conduct towards a referee is “clearly insufficient.”
“The FA has claimed that the standard punishment which would otherwise apply to Aleksandar Mitrovic for the sending-off offence of violent conduct that he committed towards the match referee is clearly insufficient. In addition, Aleksandar Mitrovic’s behaviour and/or language was allegedly improper and/or abusive and/or insulting and/or threatening following his dismissal,” read FA’s statement.
Furthermore, the president of the Referee’s Association, Paul Field, has called for the suspension to be longer than 10 matches. This would essentially mean that Mitrovic will not be able to play again this season.
Field said: “I hope it’s more than 10 games. That only really goes through to the end of the season. Think about what Eric Cantona did nearly 30 years ago and he got nine months. I think they should put a really decent time on this.”
In the high-stakes FA Cup quarter-finals, Fulham played well in the first half. Fulham even managed to score the opener with 50 minutes on the clock. But things soon started to unravel for Fulham. In the 72nd minute, Willian was sent off for a goal-line handball and manager Marco Silva given his marching orders for mouthing off towards the referee Chris Kavanagh.
Consequently, Aleksandar Mitrovic lost his cool and he too lashed out by shoving in Kavanagh. Mitrovic was immediately brandished a red card for pushing Kavanagh, with the FA taking a close look at the incident.
Fulham eventually imploded in the match as Manchester United won 3-1.
After the match, Silva suggested that Mitrovic should have known better but he also opined that other similar incidents have gone unpunished in the past. It remains to be seen if Mitrovic will indeed be banned for the rest of the season.
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