Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Roy O’Donovan has been hit with a ten-game ban as a result of ‘serious foul play’ during the 2018 A-League Grand Final.
He must serve his ten-game ban across A-League and FFA Cup matches, whichever come first, although he does have a seven-day period in which to lodge an appeal, if he wishes to do so.
An unlikely attempt to challenge for the ball saw O’Donovan’s studs make contact with the face of Melbourne Victory’s Lawrence Thomas in the 93rd minute of the grand final.
O’Donovan’s counsel Simon Phillips argued that O’Donovan had been ‘careless’ and ‘reckless’ but had made a genuine play for control of the ball.
However the disciplinary committee remained unconvinced of that. FFA counsel Ivan Griscti said “it does appear that the player [O’Donovan] is looking at the goalkeeper [Thomas].”
O’Donovan said the incident had not been intentional.
“I had to make a split-second decision to go with my foot in the hope that if I got a touch the reward was massive – we had a chance to win the grand final,” O’Donovan said.
“As soon as I left the ground there was no way to stop.”
He also said that his vision had been affected by a collision with a stray elbow from Besart Berisha shortly before the incident.
“I feel if my eye was perfect my timing would have been a bit better.
“As a striker you have a responsibility to attack the ball … unfortunately this time I hit the goalkeeper in the face which I’m devastated about.
“I have never set out to hurt anybody in my career, nor will I.”
Newcastle lost the grand final 0-1 amidst controversy regarding the Video Assistant Referee.