Macarthur defender learns length of ban after Match Review Panel’s review of Adelaide send-off

Football Australia’s independent Match Review Panel (MRP) has handed Macarthur FC defender Yianni Nicolaou a two-game ban for committing the offence of “assault of a player” in his side’s 2-1 win over Adelaide United on Friday night.

Nicolaou was sent off by referee Ben Abraham after catching the face of Reds winger Nestory Irankunda with his left arm as he attempted to shield the ball in the second half of the Round 24 Isuzu UTE A-League clash.

Abraham initially gave Nicolaou a yellow card but after VAR’s intervention and a review of the incident on the pitch side monitor, Abraham upgraded the card to red.

The MRP, consisting of Simon Micallef (Chair), Alan Contini and Alan Davidson, convened on Monday to review the incident and determined Nicolaou would serve a two-game suspension for the offence of “assault on a Player (e.g. violent conduct when not challenging for the ball) or against any other person other than a Match Official including an attempted assault”.

The two-game ban is the minimum sanction for the offence, consisting of the mandatory match suspension (one game) plus one additional game.

Nicolaou is set to miss Macarthur’s two remaining regular season games against Sydney FC and Wellington, and will be available for selection once again should the Bulls reach the Finals Series.

Fifth-placed Macarthur is currently four points clear of Western Sydney in sixth, and five points in front of seventh-placed Melbourne City.