The A-League's precedent has been broken, but Tiago Calvano will still miss the next eight matches thanks to a suspension handed down by FFA's Disciplinary Committee. The Sydney FC defender recently served a two-match suspension for striking Melbourne Victory's Archie Thompson in a game there weeks ago. Now, the 32-year-old Brazilian will miss two months of action due to his contact with the referee in the same match against the Victory three weeks ago.
According to the Disciplinary Committee's determination, Calvano purposefully put his hand on referee Peter Green while protesting a red card given to teammate Marc Warren. The finding referenced the infamous 9-month suspension for now Perth Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic in 2008 and the Bas Van Den Brink incident in 2009. In Tiago's case, the committee ruled that, "The sanction should be in the range of 6 to 8 matches."
In this particular case, the committee looked at prior record of offenses and the fact that Tiago also struck Thompson in the same match. As such, the final ruling came as:
"The appropriate sanction should be at the upper range submitted by the Disciplinary Council. It should be a sanction of 8 matches had it occurred as an isolated incident. It did not. There was other action in the same match and the player has a poor disciplinary record. Some further measure is appropriate."
The committee further ruled:
"The Disciplinary Committee also utilizes its powers...by imposing an additional conditional sanction of 4 matches. The condition which would trigger those additional 4 matches being served is if the player receives a direct red card for any offense during the remainder of the 2013/14 A-League season including finals games."
So, Tiago is going to have to be on his best behavior when he does finally return. In the meantime, Frank Farina and Sydney FC will have to continue as if he is not part of the club until at late January. The good news for the Sky Blues is that including the game in question, Sydney have won three on the trot and are looking much more composed both offensively and at the back than they were when Tiago was regularly featured.