Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Streuth, poor bloke

Vukovic doing what he does best: not slapping referees

In our second slapping story of the day, we see the other end of the spectrum, and even the other side of the world.

Now I'm not entirely clear on how Australia governs itself -- I do know it's the land of lazy swine and the distant progeny of British criminals -- but this story is absolutely hilarious.

Central Coast goalkeeper Danny Vukovic got his slap on this past Sunday, slapping a referee's hand, and has since been disciplined.

The ban? 15 months.

According to the Reuters report, via ESPN Soccernet, the ruling isn't as bad as it sounds, but Mr. Vukovic had better keep his hands well away from the faces of anyone other than himself. Quote the Football Federation of Australia [FFA] in a stern statement:

"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 ban currently only extends to games in the Aussie A-League where Vukovic peddles his trade, but they're considering extending it to all games in all competitions, which would of course rule him out for the 2008 Olympic Squad that's traveling to Beijing.

That's where I have a problem. Who do the FFA think they are? Eric Cantona was suspended for only 10 months after his karate kick on a fan in 1996, while it's looking unlikely that Matthew Taylor will receive a massive ban despite the shocking challenge on Edu.

Meanwhile, a gentle slap on a referee, and they're thinking of not only shunning him from the league for a massive nine months, but not let him represent his country?

Whatever they're doing down at the FFA, they're mad. Punishments like this send the wrong message, making Vukovic look like the victim and not the one who caused all this mess in the first place. Meanwhile, it deprives the country and his club, Central Coast, of his services. Does that make the game better? Does everyone feel safer now?

Maybe the FFA will rescind when they realize that Mark Schwarzer's certainly no spring chicken. [boom! Another Middlesbrough reference!]

So here's the video. You tell me if this is worth 15 months.

1 comment:

Ian said...

He had a right to be pissed. It was a blatant handball in the box and Central Coast deserved a penalty. Picture something similar in an FA Cup final (or any Chelsea game) and I'd bet the reaction would be similar.