Orlando City 'does not support' but won't appeal Kaka's 'playful' red card
Orlando City hit back at the decision to give Kaka a red card following a "playful interaction" with a former teammate on Saturday, but said it would not appeal against the punishment.
In stoppage time of the New York Red Bulls' 3-1 win, Kaka grabbed the face and neck of defender Aurelien Collin, with whom he had previously played at Orlando.
The pair immediately started laughing but, after consulting MLS's new video review system, referee Jorge Gonzalez deemed Kaka's action to be worthy of a straight red card.
The punishment means Kaka will be suspended for at least one game, and Orlando City announced on Monday that it would not appeal.
However, the club noted that it disagreed with the sanction and added that the only two straight red cards that Kaka -- formerly a global star with AC Milan and Real Madrid and the highest-paid player in the league -- had ever received had come in MLS.
A club statement said: "After much deliberation, which included conversations about the global attention this incident is receiving from fans and media alike, the club will respect the decision made by the Video Assistant Referee, the Professional Referee Organization and Major League Soccer to avoid further unjustified consequences that may come from appealing the decision made on the field.
"Though Orlando City SC fully supports MLS, PRO and the new Video Review system, the club does not support the notion that Kaka -- a role model known around the world for his upstanding character and demeanor -- is guilty of violent conduct, defined as an attempt to use excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball.
"Moreover, we also do not believe he deliberately 'struck' an opponent or any other person on the head or face with his hand or arm during the match.
"Kaka has only received two straight red cards in his illustrious club career, both of them in MLS.
"The captain will accept the one-game suspension and help our club and fans focus on the next task -- the first home game in nearly a month for the Lions against a strong Eastern Conference opponent, Columbus Crew SC, at Orlando City Stadium this Saturday."
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