Statement on Gerald Sibon Suspension

Melbourne Heart FC is disappointed with the outcome of the hearing of the independent Match Review Panel which has sidelined Gerald Sibon for the next two matches.

Melbourne Heart FC is disappointed with the outcome of the hearing of the independent Match Review Panel which has sidelined Gerald Sibon for the next two matches.

Chief Executive Officer Scott Munn said: “Firstly, it is important the Club makes the point that it expects its players to compete in accordance with the rules and we respect that each supporter and commentator can voice their opinion in relation to whether or not Sibon-s tackle warranted sanction.

“More broadly though, the Club is concerned that the independent Match Review Panel-s intervention in this case unreasonably encroaches on the role of the referee and believes this particular decision amounts to the re-refereeing of a football match.

“This was not a behind the play incident nor was it a serious infringement where the referee was not in a position to make a ruling.

“Quite the opposite; the referee was in very close proximity to the tackle, had a clear and unobstructed view of the tackle and no action was taken at the time. This notwithstanding, the independent Match Review Panel has come over the top to effectively issue a Red Card.

“Finally, FFA-s statement suggests that a two-week sanction has been offered or proposed to Sibon for him to accept. In the Club-s view, the sanction has effectively been imposed- not offered.

“In reality, once found by the independent Match Review Panel to have committed an offence, Sibon has no right to challenge the merits of the decision to the Disciplinary Committee so he must serve the minimum two match suspension.”