A furious Frank Farina has warned Football Federation Australia it has opened the door for clubs to dob in star players in a bid to get them suspended after an ‘anonymous’ tip off led to Sydney striker Joel Griffiths’ three-match ban for swearing.
The Sky Blues were informed on Thursday that Griffiths would be outed for three games for allegedly abusing a referee’s assistant at the end of the Sydney-Melbourne Victory encounter five days previously.
Farina is incensed one of his players could be suspended almost a week after a game with no clear evidence or official protest lodged by match officials.
The Sydney boss believes the complaint may have come from a member of the public and suggested clubs could start scouring match vision to put pressure on FFA’s Match Review Panel (MRP) to act on incidents missed by officials.
“No one condones foul or abusive language but the trouble with this one is that FFA won’t say who lodged a complaint,” Farina wrote on his website.
“It can’t be the referees as they have their long held practice for doing that: they’re called yellow and red cards. But even if that fails, they have a match report which gets submitted within hours of the match finishing and this particular match report says nothing about this alleged incident.
“Is FFA acting on an anonymous complaint?
“Does it mean that anyone can contact FFA about an incident they might have noticed in a match, to have FFA deal with it in their own unique way?
“When does a match end now? Monday when the MRP meets? five days later? six days? five years perhaps?
“If it’s so open-ended, should clubs add to their competitive strategies by employing someone to review matches with the aim of getting an opposition’s key player suspended?
“It’s a massive can of worms.”
Sydney plan to appeal the Griffiths suspension, with Farina questioning how the MRP came up with its finding without taking evidence from those closest to the alleged abuse.
“How could anyone hear what Joel Griffiths allegedly yelled out from the field of play?” Farina asked.
“I didn’t. My mate (Victory coach) Ange Postecoglou didn’t. The fourth official didn’t. And neither did the assistant referee.
“No journalist raised it at the post-match media conference. FOX Sports didn’t play endless replays of it on the night.
“Perhaps all that explains why it took FFA five days to get the case together. They not only had to find the incident in the first place, but they must have had expert lip readers in to let them know without any shadow of a doubt what was said.
“So not only does FFA’s expert lip readers and Match Review Panel know what was said, they know who it was said to! Five days after the event.”
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