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Phoneix trio fined for dismissals

20 August 2012 21:00

Wellington Phoenix have fined captain Andrew Durante, Ben Sigmund and Manny Muscat over their conduct during Saturday's defeat to Newcastle.

All three were sent off during the pre-season game, which ended 3-1 in favour of the Jets.

Muscat and Sigmund, and Jets defender Tiago, were shown red cards after an all-in brawl in the 25th minute that took rookie referee Tim McGilchrist five minutes to quell.

The Phoenix were then reduced to eight men when Durante was dismissed in the 63rd minute after lashing out at James Brown when he was on the ground.

The Phoenix are now in India where they will play four matches in a pre-season tournament.

In a statement, general manager David Dome said the club had taken the incidents very seriously and that the trio had been fined an undisclosed sum.

"Notwithstanding the play that led to the incidents, the club in no way condones any kind of retribution or fighting in a match. It is totally unacceptable and we have taken action immediately following the match," he said.

Dome said coach Ricki Herbert had also been very strong in his condemnation of the events and had also spoken individually to Durante, Sigmund and Muscat.

"The day after the match Herbert addressed the entire squad and expressed his displeasure," added Dome.

"He was unequivocal that incidents of this type will not be accepted by any player regardless of their seniority in the team."

Football Federation Australia is reviewing footage of the match but all three Phoenix players can expect to face at least a two-match ban for the red cards.

Depending on the sanctions meted out, the Phoenix said all three would be stood down for some of the upcoming games in India.

It remains unclear whether the players could serve any bans handed out by FFA on the India tour.

The more likely scenario is that they would miss the pre-season match against Western Sydney Wanderers at Christchurch's AMI Stadium on September 23 and possibly the following week's match against New Zealand ASB Premiership outfit Manawatu in Palmerston North on September 29 if that was an FFA-sanctioned match.

If not, it would mean the trio sitting out the A-League opener against Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium on October 6.

The three Phoenix players could face lengthier suspensions if the FFA decide they are guilty of violent misconduct.

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A-League table

# Team MP D P
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5 11 +3 17
6 10 -5 12

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