Hyundai A-League disciplinary changes

With the Hyundai A-League set to kick off next week, Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced changes to the disciplinary code for the competition in 2009/10.

With the Hyundai A-League set to kick off next week, Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced changes to the disciplinary code for the competition in 2009/10.

“The regulations are reviewed at the end of each season,” said FFA CEO, Ben Buckley.

“It is important to us that the Hyundai A-League-s disciplinary provisions are not only consistent with those of the sport internationally, but also with community expectations within Australia.”

The most notable of the changes is the inclusion of disciplinary sanctions for the act of ‘simulation- which can now be retrospectively administered by the independent Match Review Panel (MRP).

“I think everyone - fans, players and media - believe that simulation is unacceptable, and I am sure this change will be appreciated by the whole football community.”

The new competition rules, which are backed by the Australian Professional Footballers- Association (PFA) and Hyundai A-League coaches will come into effect from round 1. The changes include:

where a player commits an act of simulation the player can be retrospectively sanctioned by the independent MRP. The proposed sanction is two matches with that sanction limited to cases where the undetected simulation led to the Referee awarding a penalty to the player-s team and/or sending an opponent player off

removing the right of the independent MRP to cite players for the Red Card Offence category of “denying the opposing team a clear goal-scoring opportunity”

one match suspension for accumulating 5 yellow cards in the first 21 rounds of the regular season and suspension for two matches for accumulating 8 yellow cards across the entire 27 rounds of the season

a mandatory match suspension of 1 match, a reduction from 2 matches, for the offence of Serious Foul Play in line with recent amendments to the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

Buckley said that, overall, the previous season-s disciplinary regulations in combination with FFA-s ‘Respect- program were successful in reducing the number of yellow card suspensions from 38 in 2007/08 to 10 in 2008/09, with red card offences falling by 25% over the same period.

The Hyundai A-League-s first round matches are:

6 August, Melbourne Victory v Central Coast Mariners, Etihad Stadium (8.00pm AEST)

7 August, Adelaide United v Perth Glory, Hindmarsh Stadium (7.30pm local, 8.00pm AEST)

8 August, North Queensland Fury v Sydney FC, Dairy Farmers Stadium (5.30pm AEST)

8 August, Brisbane Roar v Gold Coast United, Suncorp Stadium (7.30pm AEST)

9 August, Newcastle Jets v Wellington Phoenix, EnergyAustralia Stadium (3.00pm AEST)