Australian goalie sidelined for referee assault

Other News Materials 26 February 2008 07:15 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Australian goalkeeper Danny Vukovic on Tuesday was considering an appeal against a 15-month ban for striking referee Mark Shield in Sunday's A-League final between his Central Coast Mariners and the Newcastle Jets.

Vukovic was given the ban - six months of it suspended on a probationary basis - after his side lost 1-0 in the Sydney final.

Vukovic struck Shield in a melee just minutes from full-time, when it was claimed the referee had missed a blatant penalty-box handball by a Newcastle player. Had the penalty been converted, the match would have gone into extra time.

Vukovic will not be eligible to play in next season's A-League competition until November 24. He also loses his chance to keep for Australia at this year's Beijing Olympics.

Dutchman Pim Verbeek, the Australia coach, said he was disappointed by Vukovic.

"I think that's one of the things players have to learn," Verbeek said. "It's stupid, there's no doubt about that. We can be honest about that. He should have never done that.

"Hopefully he will learn from it, and hopefully every player can learn from it, because you can not accept things like that as a professional football player."