Aleksandar Mitrovic could face a ban of up to two years for attempting to grab referee Chris Kavanagh during Fulham’s 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, according to the Disciplinary Regulations.
His straight red card means he is already banned for three games, but the Serbian striker could face an even longer spell out of the game if the FA decides to deliver a more severe sanction.
The governing body is currently reviewing the referee’s report from the game, and it has to submit a claim to Fulham by 1pm on Tuesday 21 March. Mitrovic and Fulham will then be given two days to respond, with any case then heard by a regulatory commission.
Mitrovic violated paragraph 96 of the FA Disciplinary Regulations, Part D – On-Field Regulations, Section 3, related to physical contact or attempted physical contact.
The regulations state: “Physical actions (or attempted actions) that are unlikely to cause injury to the Match Official but are nevertheless confrontational, examples include but are not limited to: pushing the Match Official or pulling the Match Official (or their clothing or equipment ).”
As a result, the Serbian striker could face a heavy suspension from football, and might even miss the rest of the Premier League season and the start of the next campaign. Indeed, a Disciplinary Commission will deliver a verdict, but, according to the regulations, it will be a minimum of 112 days.
“Physical contact or attempted physical contact: suspension from all football activities for a period of between 112 days and 2 years. The recommended entry point, prior to considering any mitigating or aggravating factors, is 182 days.”
Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey has weighed in on the debate, too, saying Mitrovic should receive a 10-game ban for his actions.
He told The Sun: “In some ways, Silva was to blame for Mitrovic’s action – managers have got to set an example. 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.”
In 1998, Paolo Di Canio received an 11-match ban and was fined £10,000 for pushing referee Paul Alcock over during the game between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal.