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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 3, 2013

Sydney won't appeal Griffiths' soccer ban

Sydney FC have decided not to appeal Joel Griffiths' three-match ban but remain furious with the process which led to the striker's delayed suspension.

The Sky Blues had until midday on Monday to lodge an appeal with Football Federation Australia (FFA) after Griffiths was handed the ban on Friday for verbally abusing a linesman in Sydney's 3-1 loss to Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park six days earlier.

The suspension was a savage blow for Sydney on the eve of their 2-2 draw to Newcastle on Saturday, with new recruit Griffith now to also miss this Sunday's clash with Brisbane and next week's encounter with Adelaide as the Sky Blues attempt to make a late charge for the finals.

While Sydney aren't contesting the ban they do have issues with Griffiths being charged retrospectively.

Normally a match commissioner and a referee's assessor attend each game while a member of the Match Review Panel (MRP) watches every game live on television.

Their notes, plus the referee's report, are collated and the MRP decide whether there were offences that need punishment.

No mention was made of the incident in any report review by the MRP with the Sky Blues left stunned when they cited Griffiths almost a week after the match and three days after it had met to discuss incidents from all matches that weekend.

"Sydney FC will not be appealing the decision to suspend Joel Griffiths for three matches and we are disappointed in what happened," chief executive Tony Pignata said in a statement.

"We have also asked FFA for clarification on the timing of the notification and subsequent suspension as we believe the process in this instance was inconsistent with previous MRP cases and raises concerns for all A-League clubs and players."

Sydney FC were only informed of the suspension at 5pm on Friday, after the team had departed for Newcastle with Griffiths forefront in coach Frank Farina's plans for the Jets match.

"We support the process as it is outlined to all clubs before the start of the season but it seems that process was not followed," Pignata continued.

"Who else is involved in the process? Can the MRP now be asked to adjudicate on issues retrospective of the event that clouds its independence?

"There are a lot of questions that I think all clubs and players would like answered."

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