Aleksandar Mitrovic of Fulham has been handed an eight-match ban and a £75,000 fine by an independent commission for pushing referee Chris Kavanagh during their FA Cup loss to Manchester United. The Serbia striker was given a three-match ban for the sending off, three for violent conduct and an additional two for “improper, abusive, insulting and threatening” language. Fulham manager Marco Silva was also issued a two-match ban for improper conduct and misconduct after he was sent off and allegedly threw a water bottle in the direction of the assistant referee. He later issued an apology for his behaviour.
Mitrovic’s ban has already been served, meaning he will be available for the last three Premier League games of the season, starting with the match against Southampton on 13 May. Following his red card, the Football Association had said the standard punishment for his dismissal was “clearly insufficient”. Mitrovic denied this but it was upheld by the independent commission, and he separately admitted the charge that his behaviour and language after being sent off was improper. The FA has since announced that it will appeal against both sanctions but will wait for the written reasons from the independent commission.
In the FA Cup tie, Mitrovic had put his side in front against United early in the second half. However, he was dismissed in the 72nd minute after Willian was sent off for a deliberate handball on the line following a VAR check. In an apology to team-mates and the club’s supporters, Mitrovic said: “On a personal level, I regret my actions that led to me being sent off. I allowed my frustration to get the better of me, and how I reacted was wrong.” Fulham have also received a £40,000 fine for failing to control their players. The London club are currently 10th in the Premier League and host West Ham on Saturday.