FIFA reject Topor-Stanley’s mistaken identity plea

First they defended the decision to play on a water-logged pitch, now FIFA have further angered Western Sydney Wanderers FC by rejecting their appeal against Nikolai Topor-Stanley’s red card.

The Wanderers skipper was dismissed in Sunday morning’s 3-1 defeat to Cruz Azul at the Club World Cup, despite one of his bookings coming from a clear case of mistaken identity.

Result: Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 Cruz Azul 3 (after extra-time)

Topor-Stanley was around 10 metres behind the play when Matthew Spiranovic and Seyi Adeleke fouled Hugo Pavone, only for Ivorian referee Nouemandiez Doue to caution Topor-Stanley.

The Wanderers were hopeful of getting Topor-Stanley off his ban due to the mix-up but had their appeal thrown out by FIFA.

“FIFA won’t change their decision – we appealed, after seeing the video, knowing it wasn’t him but there’s nothing from our point of view we can do now,” Wanderers boss Tony Popovic told the Daily Telegraph.

“Nikolai can’t play, which is unfortunate. The actual challenge he makes [to earn a second yellow card and hence be dismissed], close to halfway, he makes knowing he can get a yellow if he mistimes it, which in those conditions can happen.

“He wasn’t concerned about that, because he didn’t think he had a yellow already.”

The decision means Topor-Stanley is ineligible for the fifth-placed play-off match against African champions ES Setif on Thursday morning (AEDT).

The Wanderers will be without both their first-choice centre-backs for the clash with Matthew Spiranovic also suspended to his red card against Cruz Azul.