A furious Graham Arnold has called on the FFA to revamp their match review panel after Nikola Petkovic’s appeal against a red card was dismissed.
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has called for a review of the FFA match review panel after the A-League club’s appeal against Nikola Petkovic’s controversial red card against Adelaide United was dismissed.
Arnold was incensed by World Cup referee Ben Williams’ decision to send the Serbian defender off for a tackle on United winger Fabio Ferreira almost a minute after the incident took place in Tuesday’s FFA Cup quarter-final.
Williams has since been stood down for this weekend’s A-League fixtures following the send-off, which most observers felt merited only a yellow card at worst.
But the club’s appeal on Petkovic’s behalf was thrown out, with the MRP ruling there was “no obvious error within the meaning of the regulations.”
Following Petkovic’s dismissal late in regular time, 10-man Sydney lost 3-1 in extra time.
The MRP is chaired by former international referee Simon Micalleff, who is joined by ex-Socceroos defender Alan Davidson and Con Dimois, who also officiated in World Cup qualifiers before hanging up his whistle 10 years ago.
Arnold believes that trio should themselves be reviewed.
“The fact that he (Williams) has been stood down tells the story,” Arnold said.
“But we’ve been punished twice for it and I think it’s time we looked at who is on the match review panel board.”
“Maybe they’ve been there too long and are out of touch with the game. They have been there four years.”
Arnold revealed he had received an apology from Ben Wilson, the FFA’s director of referees.
However he was upset that the media were informed of Petkovic’s fate before the club, who will be without his services for Friday’s -A-League clash with Brisbane.
“Ben Wilson was apologetic for the referee’s performance … but it wasn’t a very nice phone call,” he said.
“But the most disappointing thing that’s really bad is that we heard through the media that Nikolai has been suspended.
“How does it go to the media before the coaching staff of the club find out?”