Three Wellington Phoenix players who were sent off in a warm-up game against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday could face extended bans after Football Federation Australia reviews the match footage today.
Manny Muscat and Ben Sigmund were both ordered from the field, along with Newcastle defender Tiago, following a first half fracas during the Jets' 3-1 victory. Skipper Andrew Durante joined them in the sheds later in the match as the Phoenix were reduced to eight men.
All four will miss at least two official A-League trial games but that could be added to later today.
"We will get the referee's report and any footage we can get our hands on and then make determinations," an FFA spokesman told the Newcastle Herald last night.
"It is an internal process between football operations, our legal team and the referees department. If the footage reveals any more [than the send-offs], we will act on that as we do in all matches."
The brawl occurred in the 25th minute after Muscat took exception to a hard tackle by Tiago, striking at the Brazilian as both players lay on the ground. That sparked an all-in brawl which saw Sigmund earn a red card after running in and hitting Jets player Jobe Wheelhouse in the back with his forearm.
Rookie referee Tim McGilchrist, who the Newcastle Herald reports took five minutes to restore order, sent the two instigators Tiago and Muscat from the field, along with Sigmund.
Durante was later red-carded in the second half after he lashed out at Jets midfielder James Brown, leaving the Phoenix with eight men for the final 27 minutes.
Jets coach Gary van Egmond told the Newcastle Herald, he believed the penalties for the red cards should be sufficient.
"I would hope there is no repercussions," he said.
"You obviously don't condone it. You have to think about the fact that the players are in their prep for the A-League season and they need games. That is the most important thing for them to get these games.
"It would be really difficult if we had many boys not available because they get sanctioned for whatever period."
The Phoenix left for India yesterday to take part in a four-team tournament in the sub-continent before returning to New Zealand to continue their pre-season campaign.
Wellington kick-off the A-League season proper when they host Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium on October 6.