Phoenix coach fumes over A-League 'dive'
Tue, 30 Oct 2012 7:27a.m.
Wellington coach Ricki Herbert has launched a two-pronged attack on the competency of A-League refereeing and players ruining the game by diving.
The Phoenix mentor was responding to the A-League match review committee's decision on Monday to uphold the red card given to defender Ben Sigmund for bringing down Adelaide's Argentine striker Jeronimo Neumann in the box on Saturday.
TV replays showed plenty of space between the players in the 77th minute incident, prompting speculation Neumann might face disciplinary action himself for diving.
Wellington skipper Andrew Durante clearly thought so, labelling the South American a cheat in an interview after the game.
Herbert was scathing of the match review committee's decision.
"Unfortunately the referee in our game with Adelaide did not deal with the situation competently and we are paying the penalty rather than the player who was guilty of simulation."
Herbert then opened old wounds by recalling referee Jarred Gillett's controversial decision to award a penalty to Brisbane in the 94th minute of the 2012 A-League grand final against Perth.
The Roar converted the spot kick to snatch the title when the Glory's Liam Miller was adjudged to have brought down Besart Berisha in the box.
"This referee has been in the same situation in a Grand Final and did not deal with it competently there either," said Herbert who will have to do without Sigmund who will serve a mandatory one-match suspension against Melbourne Victory this weekend.
"It is very disappointing for both Ben and the club that he will miss the game against Melbourne Victory, and also wrong that the game is being ruined by players who dive and do not get punished for it."
Under the competition's rules on simulation introduced two seasons ago, any player found guilty of diving faces a standard two-match ban.
Durante still faces the prospect of breaching the A-League player code of conduct but he wasn't mentioned in the FFA statement on Monday night.
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