Utterly wrong: Lenient ban for horror tackle slammed
IT was described as a tackle designed "to break a leg" but Wout Brama's challenge on Corey Gameiro has earned the Mariners midfielder just a paltry two-match ban.
The A-League's match review panel gave Brama a penalty just one game above the minimum for a lunging tackle on Gameiro that drew widespread condemnation across the game.
It had been expected that the MRP would refer the case straight to the A-League's disciplinary committee which has the power to invoke substantial penalties, but now Brama will miss just the home game with the Wanderers on Sunday and the trip to Adelaide the weekend after.
Unsurprisingly the Mariners have accepted the penalty and won't appeal, well aware it could have been substantially higher. The club declined to comment, with CEO Shaun Mielekamp saying only that Brama's tackle was "out of character".
The MRP's penalty has raised significant questions about the A-League's disciplinary code, with cases of spitting earning a minimum penalty of six matches.
Brisbane also declined to comment, but former Socceroo Mark Bosnich called the decision "utterly wrong", and said it had the potential effectively to legitimise such tackles.
"This is ending completely the wrong message, and makes it look like the A-League doesn't take challenges like that seriously," he said.
"We don't want them in the game. I understand that spitting is disgusting but how can we have a situation where a tackle like that is judged only to be worth two weeks but a player who spits was rubbed out earlier this season for seven games.
"Absolutely nothing against Wout Brama, but I don't see how anyone could see this as an appropriate penalty."
Brama was sent off for the tackle in the 94th minute of Saturday's game, which the Mariners lost to Brisbane 2-1, but only after the video referee intervened.
Remarkably the Dutchman was initially shown only a yellow card, after his boot drove into Gameiro's shin, with the Roar winger - who has undergone three knee reconstructions - screaming as he fell to the floor.
Gameiro suffered only bruising though he admitted afterwards to being in tears on the pitch, fearing the damage was much worse.
Speaking in the aftermath of the game, former Melbourne Victory striker Archie Thompson said Brama's "intent was not at all to win that ball but to literally break the boy's leg".
The case has also raised questions over whether the A-League itself should be able to appeal against penalties imposed by the MRP, a right that some other sporting bodies have written into their statutes.
An FFA spokesman confirmed only players and clubs can appeal against penalties handed down by the MRP and the disciplinary tribunal.
Historically such tackles have tended to be dealt with harshly - Kevin Muscat's playing career ended when he was hit with an eight-game ban for a tackle on Adrian Zahra that left the Melbourne City winger needing surgery.