It wasn’t pretty, but did this challenge by FC Viitorul Constanta centre-back Alin Seroni really merit a 16-match ban?
Seroni has been issued with a 16 match suspension for a reckless challenge on Universitatea Craiova’s Nicusor Bancu during a Romanian Cup match on 29 October.
Bancu suffered a broken ankle as a result of the challenge, and referee Florin Miron showed Seroni a second yellow card.
Looking at the footage, though, the tackle appears mistimed rather than malicious and certainly not deserving of such a lengthy ban. Unless the suspension is reduced on appeal Seroni will not play again until April 2015.
This is the second 16-match ban imposed by Romania’s increasingly draconian FA within the last 24 hours. FCM Targu Mures midfielder Gabriel Muresan received the same punishment for elbowing an opponent during his team’s 1-0 league win over champions Steaua Bucharest.
Speaking about Muresan’s ban on Wednesday, Targu Mures’s general director Daniel Stanciu said: “It’s a drastic decision, I’ve never seen anything like this. How a player can be suspended for 16 matches since he wasn’t even sent off?”
That would appear to have been an oversight on the part of the referee. The innocent victim in that particular incident suffered a fracture eye socket
You can make your own mind up about that decision by studying the video footage. The incident occurs about 0.15 into the clip.