Graham Poll compares Aleksandar Mitrovic outburst to Roy Keane and Paulo Di Canio amid calls for lengthy ban

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20220830-Fulham-Aleksandar Mitrovic (C)Getty Images

Former Premier League referee Graham Poll compared Aleksandar Mitrovic’s red card to Paulo Di Canio’s infamous assault on Paul Alcock.

Di Canio made his name in Britain in spells with Celtic and West Ham, but between those two spells he also had time at Sheffield Wednesday, and in 1998 he received a red card when playing against Arsenal at Hillsborough.

In response to his sending off, the Italian shoved Alcock, sending the referee to the ground as he dramatically lost his balance.

The reaction led to Di Canio being given an 11-match ban and a fine of £10,000.

Something similar occurred at the weekend when Serbian forward Mitrovic received his marching orders alongside manager Marco Silva and team-mate Willian as Fulham collapsed against Manchester United in the FA Cup.

There have been calls for Mitrovic to face a similar punishment to Di Canio for shoving Chris Kavanagh after his red card, and the FA have themselves confirmed he is likely to face an extended ban.

The governing body said in a statement: “The FA has claimed that the standard punishment which would otherwise apply to Aleksandar Mitrovic for the sending-off offence of violent conduct that he committed towards the match referee is clearly insufficient.

“In addition, Aleksandar Mitrovic’s behaviour and/or language was allegedly improper and/or abusive and/or insulting and/or threatening following his dismissal.”

Speaking to Betting Sites, Poll backed the idea that Mitrovic should face additional punishment.

“Aleksander Mitrovic completely loses his head and manhandles Kavanagh and continues to harass him after he is (again correctly) shown a red card,” he said. “You can clearly see on the replays that Mitrovic gets in the face of referee Kavanagh, points his finger in his face and uses his right arm to manhandle the referee and therefore receive a red card.

“Scenes that we shouldn’t see on a football field that brought back memories of Roy Keane and his fellow Man Utd teammates chasing Andy D’Urso and Paolo Di Canio pushing Paul Alcock. 

“Now let’s see how the FA support their referees.”

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