A-League officials have admitted the decision which led to Wellington midfielder Alex Rufer being sent off in the 1-1 draw with Macarthur was wrong, Phoenix boss David Dome says.
The Phoenix were fuming after Rufer was giving his marching orders for a challenge on Macarthur’s Denis Genreau in the second-half of the clash at Campbelltown Stadium.
Rufer won the ball from Genreau but then caught the Bulls player with his right foot as Genreau attempted to run clear.
Referee Stephen Lucas had originally booked Rufer but after consultation with the VAR official, decided to show a red card.
The decision was immediately panned by Fox Sports commentator Robbie Slater, with the ex-Socceroo labelling it a “very, very poor decision”.
Phoenix general manager Dome said the league’s referees boss had confirmed to him Rufer’s dismissal was wrong on two counts.
“He’s admitted they got it wrong in #MACvWEL (sic) twice: in being referred to the VAR and again for the red,” Dome said on Twitter.
“But the appeal is completely different and is a much higher threshold. Am waiting on ref report and probably MRP (match review panel).”
Having been given a straight red card for violent conduct, Rufer is facing the prospect of a three-match ban.
Dome said if such a sanction was imposed, an appeal would be heavily considered.
“Would be extremely disappointed if it was 3 weeks,” he said.
“Would def (sic) look at appealing anything like that.”
Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay believed the decision changed the outcome of the match, with Macarthur levelling shortly afterwards to cancel out David Ball’s first-half opener for the visitors.
Wellington now have a two-week break due to the league’s COVID-19 affected fixture, with their next match against Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium on January 24.