Soccer: Durante will escape ban for comments

By Terry Maddaford

Wellington Phoenix captain, Andrew Durante. Photo / NZPA
Wellington Phoenix captain, Andrew Durante. Photo / NZPA

Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante will not miss any A-League games despite speaking out again match officials in his team's contentious 1-3 loss to Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.

The club has yet to be asked for a "please explain" after Durante berated the match officials and Adelaide's two-goal hero Jeronimo Neumann for "diving" in an incident which led to a red card for Ben Sigmund last Saturday.

Seconds after the end of the match Durante was confronted by a Fox Sport's sideline commentator who asked the Phoenix captain for his thoughts.

"We got a few tough decisions against us," said Durante. "I think the first one [goal] was offside from what I saw, the second one he's dived. He's a cheat. In my book, if he's dived, he's a cheat. I think the referees were shocking tonight.

"To end the game with a referee's decision like that ... I mean, that linesman on that far side did nothing to help this game. I thought it was extremely poor."

While Durante could yet be sanctioned by Football Federation Australia, it is seen as a "non-suspendable offence" with a fine, suspended fine or basically no further action as the options.

No action will be taken until the club and or Durante have been asked for their view. That has yet to happen which means there will no action until next week.

Durante will not miss any games and will lead his team in the much-awaited clash with Melbourne Victory next Monday and for the testing schedule to follow when the Phoenix play Central Coast Mariners at home before embarking on a tough road trip for games against Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory.

The FFA judiciary yesterday dismissed the Wellington Phoenix protest over the red card handed Sigmund. He will miss one match. No action was taken against Neumann.

It was a game sparked by controversy with coach Ricki Herbert pointing to the big screen when Adelaide scored their second goal and receiving a comment from the fourth official who agreed with Herbert that the referee's assistant had got it wrong in not flagging for offside.

Earlier, the Phoenix had a Jeremy Brockie goal disallowed. Referee Jarred Gillett was at the centre of controversy in last season's grand final when he awarded Brisbane Roar the match-winning penalty.

- NZ Herald

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