Mariner captain cited for ‘f***ing dog’ snap
Central Coast captain Matt Simon is potentially facing a multiple-match ban or a fine - or both - after being cited for calling an A-League referee a 'f***ing dog'.
The fiery forward was shown a second yellow card and subsequently dismissed in the 95th minute of last Friday's rollercoaster 5-3 home loss to Brisbane Roar.
Clearly incensed with the decision, he appeared to swear repeatedly at referee Stephen Lucas in a foul-mouthed tirade picked up by match-broadcast microphones.
Football Federation Australia moved to act on Monday, citing Simon under its National Code of Conduct and giving the Mariners until 5pm next Monday to file a submission on behalf of their skipper.
Simon's case did not go to the match review panel, nor will he face the FFA independent disciplinary committee, due to the fact he made the remarks after he'd been sent off.
Club chiefs, who have privately made it clear they don't condone such actions, will spend the next week putting together their paperwork, and may choose to sanction Simon themselves in the hope FFA might take such a move into account when determining the severity of his punishment.
"The Central Coast Mariners will take this opportunity to review all options available to the club, and provide an update in due course," the club said in a statement.
However, either way the 33-year-old looks set to be hit with significantly more than a reprimand, given Newcastle coach Ernie Merrick was fined $3000 this month for criticising the video assistant referee in a post-match press conference.
FFA hit Merrick with the fee over remarks he made around a series of contentious penalty decisions against the Jets in the a 2-0 loss to Perth on January 27 that the VAR was "having a cup of tea" and "if it was against us, it would be given. We've had four penalties against, and we haven't got a penalty this year".
Former Sooceroo Ned Zelic described Simon's behaviour as "not on".
"It's going to be interesting what they actually do with this," Zelic told Fox Sports' Sunday Shootout program.
"I reckon he's looking at least four weeks for what he said.
"That's where you really have to control yourself as a player, irrespective of how things are going … you really have to stay controlled and not allow yourself to lose discipline."
After Friday's game Mariners coach Mike Mulvey appeared to shift the blame as he bemoaned it felt like "the whole world was against" his wooden-spooners in waiting.
"It looks like there's a predetermined situation where Matt Simon is a bully and he never gets a free kick because of that, and it's just absolutely ridiculous," Mulvey told Fox Sports.
"You need to referee the game in the way that you see it.
"We just did not get anything. Matt didn't get anything. It's not just the first week too, it's been happening time and time again.
"The players get frustrated, the fans get frustrated and then you see the end result.
"I think the referee brought a lot of the situation on himself."
The outburst came in a match the Mariners finished with nine men after midfielder Aiden
O'Neill was also given a second yellow and his marching orders just after the hour mark, meaning the Mariners will be missing two key players in their next match with Wellington.