FFA to deal with Jets, Phoenix footbrawlers

FOOTBALL Federation Australia will review today an all-in brawl between the Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix that cleared both benches and have not ruled out widespread sanctions for players and officials involved.

Jets defender Tiago and Wellington’s Manny Muscat, Ben Sigmund and Andrew Durante will miss at least two official A-League trial games after they were sent off in the spiteful friendly, which Newcastle won 3-1, at Weston on Saturday night.

They and others could face longer sentences after the governing body reviews the incident today.

‘‘We will get the referee’s report and any footage we can get our hands on and then make determinations,’’ an FFA spokesman said last night.

‘‘It is an internal process between football operations, our legal team and the referees department. If the footage reveals any more [than the send-offs], we will act on that as we do in all matches.’’

Last night, FFA was awaiting vision from its own sports reporting service, which films every A-League-sanctioned game, and NBN television.

New A-League chief Damien de Bohun officially starts today.

The ugly incident, played out in front of nearly 2000 fans, came less than a week after Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers supporters clashed at a trial match in Campbelltown in which a young boy was injured.

‘‘We want to get it under control pretty quickly,’’ the FFA spokesman said.

The Jets have four sanctioned trials remaining, against Brisbane, Sydney FC (twice) and Wanderers, before they open the season against Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium on October 7.

Phoenix left yesterday morning for India, where they have four games to play.

Sigmund lit the wick for an explosive encounter when he hooked his leg around James Brown and brought him down in the 10th minute.

Jets defender Josh Mitchell and former Jet Jeremy Brockie exchanged heated words before the game erupted in the 25th minute.

Tiago and Muscat went in strongly for a 50-50 ball in front of the Jets dugout. Muscat responded angrily and video footage shows him jumping on the Jets defender and striking him, sparking wild scenes.

Sigmund ran in to join the melee and slammed into the back of Jobe Wheelhouse.

His forearm appeared to make contact with the Jets captain’s head. Players and coaching staff came from both benches as several scuffles started.

After getting to his feet, Tiago appears to throw punches at Muscat near the touchline.

Rookie referee Tim McGilchrist took five minutes to restore order.

Durante, who had several run-ins with Jets players, was given his marching orders midway through the second half after he lashed out at Brown, who was on the ground.

Jets coach Gary van Egmond believed the penalties for the red cards should be sufficient.

‘‘I would hope there is no repercussions,’’ he said.

‘‘You obviously don’t condone it. You have to think about the fact that the players are in their prep for the A-League season and they need games. That is the most important thing for them to get these games.

‘‘It would be really difficult if we had many boys not available because they get sanctioned for whatever period.

Most of the Jets senior squad are on a one-week break and Tiago returned to Rio de Janeiro to attend to ‘‘personal matters’’.

The 31-year-old’s wife, Paola, and children Julia, 4, and Jean Pedro, eights months, are in Brazil awaiting visas so they can return to Newcastle.

Veteran striker Michael Bridges is due back this week after spending the past two weeks in England with his ill father.

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