A-Leagues champ learns fate after ‘violent conduct’ offence as ‘Nix star has sanction confirmed

Catch the goals from an action-packed round 22 of Isuzu UTE A-League action.

Western United centre-back Tomoki Imai has been hit with a two-match ban by Football Australia’s Independent Match Review Panel (MRP) after he was sent off in Round 22 of the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Imai was shown a straight red card in the 93rd minute of Friday night’s 4-1 loss away to Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.

The Japanese defender and 2021-22 Isuzu UTE A-League champion reacted after a coming together with Adelaide captain Ryan Kitto in the third minute of stoppage time.


The MRP deemed Imai committed the offence of “Violent Conduct” and handed down the minimum sanction of two games, being the mandatory match suspension plus one additional fixture.

He will miss Western’s Tarneit opener against Macarthur FC on Saturday, with Imai eligible to return against Adelaide United on Tuesday, April 16.

Meanwhile, Wellington Phoenix captain Alex Rufer will serve a one-game suspension.

There was a major flashpoint in Wellington’s 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar when Rufer was dismissed following a VAR review of an 81st-minute incident which saw his studs connect with the calf of Henry Hore, who was lying prone on the ground after a tangle between the two.

Tensions rose after referee Tim Danaskos brandished a red card, while Phoenix head coach Giancarlo Italiano labelled the dismissal “harsh” post-game.

However, Rufer’s red card has been upheld as a result of “Serious foul play” and it means he will miss the top-of-the-table showdown with Central Coast Mariners on Saturday.