I’m not a cheat: Adelaide’s Jeronimo
Adelaide United striker Jeronimo Neumann says he’s not a cheat and didn’t dive in an incident which has caused an A-League furore.
Neumann was visibly upset on Tuesday when defending himself of diving allegations and being branded a cheat by Wellington captain Andrew Durante.
Phoenix defender Ben Sigmund was sent off in the incident, a straight red card later upheld by Football Federation Australia (FFA) on appeal by Wellington.
Argentine Neumann was distressed when fronting the media in Adelaide, with his teammate Cassio interpreting for him.
“No, no,” Neumann said when asked if he dived.
“I felt the player take my t-shirt and I went down.”
Neumann said he also a clip on an ankle and believed Sigmund’s red card was justified.
“He was the last man, so that’s a fair call,” he said.
Neumann, who scored twice in Adelaide’s 3-1 win against Wellington, said he was feeling pressure from the subsequent controversy despite being cleared by the FFA of any wrongdoing.
The FFA also upheld Sigmund’s one-match ban for the straight red card, verdicts which left Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert fuming.
“It is very disappointing for both Ben and the club … and also wrong that the game is being ruined by players who dive and do not get punished for it,” Herbert said on Monday.
Durante, in a post-game interview, labelled Neumann a “cheat” for diving and both he and Herbert could face sanctions for their comments under the A-League’s code of conduct.
But Cassio called for an end to the controversy.
“I can’t see anything wrong,” Cassio told reporters.
“He (Sigmund) touched him – he tripped him on his ankle.
“So what is the point? Let’s move on.
“The referee can make mistakes as players can make mistakes.
“But in my opinion, the referee (on Saturday) was okay.
“Maybe he (Neumann) delay a bit when he went down, but who cares? He (Sigmund) touched him.”
The Phoenix on Tuesday issued a brief statement in which General manager David Dome said the the club “respectfully accepted” the the match review panel’s decision over Sigmund’s dismissal.
Dome says the correct process was followed.
“So far as the club is concerned, the matter has been laid to rest,” he said.© AAP 2013
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