BRUCE: BACUNA 6-GAME BAN IS UNFAIR
ASTON Villa boss Steve Bruce believes Leandro Bacuna’s punishment is unnecessarily harsh after the midfielder was given a six-match ban for physically abusing a match official.
Bacuna was sent off when he deliberately barged his chest into assistant referee Mark Russell during injury-time of Villa’s 1-0 win over Derby last weekend.
The straight red card earned the 25-year-old a three-match ban, and he was handed an additional three games by the FA after pleading guilty to the violent conduct charge.
Blackburn’s 25-year-old midfielder Hope Akpan was recently given a fourgame ban for pushing referee Scott Duncan during Rovers’ defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
And, while Bruce was quick to condemn the actions of Bacuna, he was frustrated by the disparity of punishment between his man and Akpan.
“We were honest and open enough at the time to say that Leandro overstepped the mark,” said Bruce. “We fined him the maximum.
“But I have to say the FA’s punishment is a bit harsh. When I consider the lad at Blackburn, two or three weeks ago, pushed the referee in a similar sort of incident and he only got an (additional) one-game ban, I feel personally that it’s a bit harsh.
“I will meet with (Villa technical director) Steve Round and (Villa CEO) Keith Wyness on Thursday afternoon to see if there are grounds for appeal.”
Bacuna’s red card was his first sending off since moving to Villa Park from Dutch side Groningen in the summer of 2013.
But that didn’t stop the FA coming down hard on the Curacao international.
A statement read: “He admitted his behaviour constituted violent conduct in circumstances where the standard punishment of three matches would be clearly insufficient.”
BARGE: Leandro Bacuna