30/05/2024

Macarthur FC defender Ivan Vujica in action against Western United during the A-Leagues Unite Round. Photo Credit: Joshua Davis

Ivan Vujica will be free to play against Wellington on Sydney after having his red card in Macarthur’s 1-0 win over Sydney rescinded on Monday.

Vujica was initially given a yellow card by referee Daniel Elder for a tackle on Sydney FC’s Joe Lolley during the first half with the scores at 0-0. After a VAR review, it was upgraded to a red card.

Macarthur FC submitted an obvious error application, which was unanimously allowed by the Match Review Panel (MRP).

Nathan Magill, Football Australia’s Head of Referees, said that the decision to issue the red card was incorrect.

“After a thorough review of the incident, it appears that the Video Assistant Referee has overly concentrated on the point of contact when determining the need for an on-field review regarding a possible red card,” Magill stated.

“According to the laws of the game, the challenge occurred with normal playing intensity and speed, as both players were engaging in a typical motion to contest the ball. Although the contact was made at the ankle/lower shin, it was brief and occurred with the leg raised, which mitigates the severity of the force used.

“Considering the nature of the contact, the incident was handled appropriately on-field. Consequently, the intervention by the Video Assistant Referee was unnecessary as the situation did not meet the threshold for a ‘clear and obvious error’, which is the standard for Video Assistant Referee intervention in the A-Leagues.

“While it is recognised that this could have been addressed during the review, the decision to escalate from a yellow to a red card was not warranted based on the established criteria.”

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Tommy Smith had his red card upheld by the MRP, in which Macarthur also submitted an obvious error application, which was unsuccessful.

The MRP determined that Smith committed the offence of ‘serious unsporting conduct’, and will miss the Wellington game with a one match suspension.

Macarthur will welcome back captain Ulises Davila after his two-game suspension has been served for the game against Wellington, with Jake Hollman also a possibility to return to the Macarthur line-up after the Olyroos were eliminated from the U-23 AFC Asian Cup in the group stage.

Macarthur need at least a point to secure a home final against Wellington, otherwise the side would have to rely on Perth Glory preventing Sydney FC securing all three points when those two sides meet on Sunday.

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