Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Oh Danny Boy, you lucky lucky boy

Great to see Danny Vukovic get the chance to go to the Olympics. I'm delighted, and I never felt the offence meant he should miss the Olympics, but given the timing of the actions and suspension what else could you do?

Well silly me, Danny can have a little break from suspension. Now why didn't I think of that?

Somehow his suspension will have a little break, to ensure Danny if selected, can go to the Olympics. Then when the Olympics is over he'll continue, assuming he's still in Australia, with his suspension.

I'm delighted for Vukovic, but this is a laughable decision by anyone's standards.

Perhaps the crime doesn't match the punishment. Missing the Olympics. Perhaps.

Perhaps Barry Hall, Nick D'Arcy and others in other Australian sports, has put Danny's actions into perspective.

Either way it doesn't send a good message to the Referees the players and fans of our game.

FFA Release:

23 April 2008

The independent Appeals Committee, arising from the red card (send off) offence of Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners) at the Hyundai A-League 2008 Grand Final on 24 February 2008, handed down its decision today.

The committee, comprised of John Sackar QC, Michael Christie SC and former professional player, Jeromy Harris, heard the appeal by Vukovic represented by Bob Ellicott QC on 10 April.

The Appeals Committee decided that Vukovic be suspended from all games up to 24 June 2008 and from all games from 29 August – 5 October 2008 inclusive.

The Appeals Committee also decided that Vukovic should not play in any games from 6 October 2008 – 25 January 2009 inclusive, with the latter penalty to be suspended subject to no further infringement in the period up to, and including 25 January 2009.

The Appeals Committee also fined Vukovic $10,000 to be paid to the FFA.

The Appeals Committee decision overturns the original suspension of the independent Match Review Panel in February which banned Vukovic for 15 months (of which six months was suspended), a sentence reduced to 12 months (with three months suspended) last month by the independent Disciplinary Committee.

Under FFA regulations, the independent Appeals Committee may impose a range of sanctions and determine the scope and duration of the sanction.

The effect of the Appeals Committee decision means that Vukovic will not be eligible to play in the Hyundai A-League competition again until 6 October 2008, but he is eligible for selection to the Australian Olympic team.

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