Fulham to include Bruno Fernandes defence as Mitrovic faces ‘ban for rest of season’

Will Ford
Mitrovic facing long ban

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic faces a ‘ban for the rest of the season’ after being charged by the FA for pushing referee Chris Kavanagh in Sunday’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.

The Serbian was charged with violent and improper conduct but the FA have admitted that their standard punishment for his red card at Old Trafford is ‘clearly insufficient’.

The statement read: “The FA has claimed that the standard punishment which would otherwise apply to Aleksandar Mitrovic for the sending off offence of violent conduct that he committed towards the match referee is clearly insufficient.

“In addition, Aleksandar Mitrovic’s behaviour and/or language was allegedly improper and/or abusive and/or insulting and/or threatening following his dismissal.”

Fulham have 11 games left this season and the president of the Referees’ Association has called for a ban longer than ten matches.

Losing Mitrovic would be a big blow for Fulham, who can submit a written response to the charges.

The Evening Standard claim it is ‘likely to include how Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes escaped punishment for pushing assistant Adam Nunn during their 7-0 defeat at Liverpool’.

Paolo Di Cania was banned for 11 matches in 1998 for shoving referee Paul Alcock to the floor while playing for Sheffield Wednesday against Arsenal.

Paul Field, president of the Referees’ Association, said the suspension for Mitrovic should extend into next season. “I hope it’s more than 10 games,” Field told the BBC.

“They should put a really decent time on this. Referees put up with this week in, week out. At an amateur level, a player is looking at about a year’s ban.”

Fulham manager Marco Silva was also charged after the game for abusive behaviour towards match officials, while the club was charged with failing to control its players at Old Trafford.

The FA statement added: “It’s alleged that Marco Silva used abusive and/or insulting words and/or gestures and/or behaviour towards the match referee; that he used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official prior to his dismissal; and that he also used abusive and/or insulting words and/or gestures and/or behaviour towards the fourth official after being sent off.

“It’s further alleged that in throwing a water bottle in the direction of the assistant referee that his behaviour was improper.

“It’s also alleged Fulham failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.”

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