Victory coaches banned after pitch invasion
MELBOURNE Victory coaching duo Jean-Paul de Marigny and Dean Anastasiadis have each escaped with a four-match ban after being sent off for violent conduct during Saturday night's semi-final against Sydney FC.
Emotions boiled over when Terry Antonis ran the length of his half to score a sensational extra time winner for Victory in the 117th minute against Sydney.
But the Victory's goalkeeper coach Anastasiadis and assistant coach De Marigny then inexplicably entered the field of play, the latter appearing to slap Sydney's David Carney across the face.
The intervention of the VAR resulted in both coaches being dismissed in the 118th minute, meaning an automatic suspension for them for next weekend's grand final.
After a marathon sitting last night, the A-League's Match Review Panel determined that both coaches had committed the offence of assault on a player or team official and added an additional ban of three matches.
Considering the farcical scenes the incident created, De Marigny and Anastasiadis have essentially escaped with a slap on the wrists. They have until tomorrow afternoon to decide whether or not to appeal the proposed sanctions, but either way they will be banned from this weekend's grand final.
Victory coach Kevin Muscat had pleaded for leniency from Football Federation Australia and defended the actions of his assistants, saying he hoped "common sense will prevail".
"They've obviously been punished for whatever reasons and we'll find out what they are and we'll go from there," Muscat said. "Punishment (on Saturday night), not seeing the end of the game, surely common sense will prevail and they can enjoy what they've worked hard for throughout the season next week.
"Football is an emotional game. Sometimes when someone gets overemotional we want to jump on them and crucify them and then when there's no emotion it's boring. You've got to be careful as well and I'm hoping common sense will prevail and I'm pretty sure it will."
The incident could also affect De Marigny's chances of landing the Wellington Phoenix coaching job.