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Save Danny Vukovic

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Danny Vukovic - Goal Keeper for the Central Coast Mariners and Australia\'s most promising up-and-coming talent in professional football - hit with a 15 month suspension - a ruling made by Football Federation Australia on Monday 25th February, 2008. This was in response to his \'striking\' of referee, Mark Shield, during the last seconds of the 2007/2008 A-League Grand Final match against the Newcastle Jets on Sunday 24th February, 2008. Danny Vukovic was seen to \'high-five\' referee Mark Shield\'s hand. The incident occurred after the referee failed to award a penalty due to a hand ball spotted by a linesman. We do not condone any violent or aggressive behaviour toward the referees, or the officials, in any form. However, in light of similar incidences that have preceded this, the emotion of the situation and Danny previously unblemished record we call on the FFA to reconsider the ban to a lighter sentence either in line with the precedent set either by the FFA itself or internationally by FIFA. An appeal hearing lasting 7 hours on Tuesday, March 4th 2008 reduced the ban from 15 to 12 months, 3 of which are to be served as probation. The failure of the FFA to reduce the ban will mean that not only will Danny miss nine months of Football, but his Olympic dreams have also been shattered as the FFA will ask FIFA to make the ban international. Football fans from across Australia are appalled by the conduct of the FFA in their willingness to allow Danny Vukovic to be treated as a scapegoat or example when others have been provided previously. Fans from all A-league teams believe that what this incident shines the light on most, is the poor quality of refereeing that not only the Grand Final received, but also the entire past season. As a result of Danny


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