Roy O’Donovan gets eight-week ban for headbutt

Corkman Roy O’Donovan has been suspended for eight weeks — the second-biggest A-League ban of all time — for his New Year’s Eve headbutt on Manny Muscat.

The Central Coast Mariners striker appeared before Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) independent disciplinary committee yesterday, pleading guilty with mitigating circumstances to a charge of violent off-the-ball conduct.

The committee accepted O’Donovan had a momentary lapse of judgement when retaliating after he was elbowed in the eye by Muscat. They also took into account O’Donovan’s good record.

However, it also cited the serious nature of his action in its decision to issue the most severe ban recommended by the FFA’s disciplinary council, who proposed between six and eight weeks.

It suggested that, while different in nature, it was worthy of the same level of punishment— eight weeks — given to Kevin Muscat for his brutal tackle on Adrian Zahra in 2011. Disciplinary council representative Anais D’Arville argued O’Donovan’s case was more serious than that of the now-Melbourne Victory coach, in the sense it was deliberate and did not occur in the run of play.

It was less serious, he said, in that Manny Muscat was not hurt, whereas Zahra sustained a serious knee injury.

Mariners may appeal, said chief executive Shaun Mielekamp.

“We are extremely disappointed at the decision,” Mielekamp said. “The disparity in sanctions issued for this match highlights the flaws in the system. The media circus around the incident has had a high impact on the result and we will look at our various avenues for appeal.”


Orlagh Kelly owns The Reading Room bookshop on Main Street in Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim.We sell books: The Reading Room - ‘Small bookshops, curated by people who care, make a difference’

As Stockton’s Wing release a retrospective album, Mike Hanrahan tells Donal O’Keeffe about getting back on the road, and his love of cookingStill a beautiful affair: Mike Hanrahan talks about getting back on the road with Stockton's Wing

An ongoing cull is resulting in a major reduction in the deer population in one of the country’s most visited natural attractions.Donal Hickey: Deer birth patterns evolving

A Courtmacsherry neighbour, Kathy Gannon tells me that when the tide is out, the vast acres of clean, grey mud of the bay reflect the sun in splendour in the clear, sharp air.Damien Enright: ‘How enchanting for humanity that we have birds’

More From The Irish Examiner