Roar cop three-point ALW blow for using banned player
Brisbane Roar will appeal against their three-point deduction for fielding a suspended player in last weekend's A-League Women win against Western United.
Their 2-0 victory has been stripped and replaced with a 3-0 loss, allowing Western United to reclaim top spot on the ALW ladder.
Roar captain Ayesha Norrie had earned a one-match suspension after picking up her fourth yellow card of the season on March 4 against the Wellington Phoenix, but played the full game against Western United regardless.
But the Roar will appeal, arguing they were not told by A-League officials before the game that Norrie was suspended.
Brisbane believed the yellow-card tally reset after 14 rounds, rather than 14 games, under the ALW suspension policy .
Roar's captain picked up her fourth yellow card in round 15 - but that was only their 14th match of the campaign.
"Round 14 for us was Melbourne Victory ... but the byes are where the confusion has arisen," Roar coach Garrath McPherson told AAP.
"But they are saying our 14th game of the year was last weekend against Wellington.
"We assumed (Norrie) was fine and had gone past the round 14 juncture.
"We never got notification from anyone that she was suspended so we proceeded as normal."
Norrie picked up another yellow card in the Western United match, after which Sydney FC moved top of the ladder before the points were redistributed.
Brisbane had pulled off a big upset win courtesy of two goals from Shea Connors.
A-Leagues Commissioner Greg O'Rourke said the Roar have seven days in which to appeal the sanction.
"The Brisbane Roar player was ineligible to participate as a result of having been subject to a mandatory suspension for receiving a fourth yellow card in the club's round 14 match on March 4, 2023," a statement form the Australian Professional Leagues read.
"The sanctions in our regulations are clear and have been applied as such."
McPherson believed there was precedent for the deduction to be overturned, citing an example from 2016.
"Larissa Crummer was suspended for round one but Melbourne City never received notification of it," he said.
"She played 10 games in a row and they eventually realised and she missed round 11, but they were never docked points, so we feel we have got a precedent."
It is the competition's second points deduction in a matter of weeks, after Canberra United received a three-point penalty for making an unauthorised additional substitution during a match.
United have appealed against their punishment, arguing they followed the advice of the fourth official who told them the substitution was permitted.
The deduction has all but ended Canberra's finals hopes, leaving them five points back from fourth-placed Melbourne Victory with three games before finals.
If their appeal is successful, that gap would be reduced to just two points.
The bonus three points leave Western United (36 points) on top of the table ahead of Sydney (33). Melbourne City are third with 28 points.