Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey believes Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic should be handed a 10-game ban for his outburst during the club’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester United.
In what can only be described as 40 seconds of madness, referee Chris Kavanagh brandished red cards to manager Marco Silva, Willian and Mitrovic during the FA Cup quarter-final clash.
The madness began when Willian blocked Jadon Sancho’s shot on target with his hand. The incident went to VAR and, after going over to the pitchside monitor, referee Kavanagh sent Marco Silva off for his furious touchline reaction.
Then, former Chelsea winger Willian saw red for the handball incident before Mitrovic decided to throw some verbals at the referee before pushing him.
Mitrovic was sent for an early bath and could face a lengthy ban for shoving Kavanagh. In fact, former top flight referee Mark Halsey believes the Serbian forward should be hit with a 10-match ban for his actions.
“In some ways, Silva was to blame for Mitrovic’s action – managers have got to set an example,” Halsey toldThe Sun.
“Mitrovic has technically assaulted Kavanagh by shoving his elbow into him and has then gone at the official with a volley of abuse. The FA have a duty of care to referees and we cannot have this at any level of football.
“They have to set an example by sanctioning Mitrovic heavily and I would expect both clubs to be charged with failing to control their players.”
Halsey added: “To Kavanagh’s credit, the referee remained calm throughout the madness.”
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Fulham manager Marco Silva, meanwhile, admits he crossed a line before being sent off against Manchester United, but criticised ‘inconsistencies’ after the following two red cards.
“It’s tough to take to accept some decisions… I’m not saying the VAR didn’t do well but why didn’t it do it in the first half twice? Mitrovic in the 18-yard box,” he toldtalkSPORT.
“That is difficult for us to understand. For me it’s clear there are two moments. The first one is clear, it’s clear a clear penalty when Luke Shaw pushed Mitrovic – clear, clear penalty. Later there were a bunch of players who pushed Mitrovic in the back.
“It’s difficult to understand why with Manchester United they do one thing and why with Fulham they don’t do the other thing.
“At that moment of course with the red card for Willian, we should control it in a different way. Our emotions, I should be in the touchline and shouldn’t be speaking with the referee in the moment he’s going to see the screen.
“If that’s the reason for him giving me the red card I have to accept that. I shouldn’t have gone [to him].
“And of course in that moment Mitro should control the emotions.”
Silva also said Mitrovic should be spared a lengthy ban, despite his push on the official.