11 Jan 2021

A-League officials admit 'they got it wrong'

7:10 am on 11 January 2021

Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome claims A-League officials have admitted Phoenix midfielder Alex Rufer shouldn't have been sent off in their 1-1 draw with Macarthur.

Alex Rufer gets a red card during the A-League match,  Macarthur FC v Wellington Phoenix at Campbelltown Stadium, Saturday 9th January 2021

Alex Rufer is red carded in the A-League match against Macarthur Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021

The Phoenix were fuming after Rufer was red carded for a challenge on Macarthur's Denis Genreau in the second-half of their match at Campbelltown Stadium.

Rufer won the ball from Genreau but then caught the Bulls player with his right foot as Genreau attempted to run clear.

Referee Stephen Lucas originally booked Rufer but after consultation with the VAR official, decided to show a red card.

The decision was immediately panned by Fox Sports commentator Robbie Slater, with the ex-Socceroo labelling it a "very, very poor decision".

Phoenix general manager Dome said the league's referees boss had confirmed to him Rufer's dismissal was wrong on two counts.

"He's admitted they got it wrong in .MACvWEL (sic) twice: in being referred to the VAR and again for the red," Dome said on Twitter.

"But the appeal is completely different and is a much higher threshold. Am waiting on ref report and probably MRP (match review panel)."

Having been given a straight red card for violent conduct, Rufer is facing the prospect of a three-match ban.

Dome said if such a sanction was imposed, an appeal would be heavily considered.

"Would be extremely disappointed if it was 3 weeks," he said.

"Would def (sic) look at appealing anything like that."