Socceroo gets two-week ban for tackle

Pamela Whaley
Sydney FC star Rhyan Grant has successfully had his suspension for foul play shortened

Sydney FC star Rhyan Grant will miss two weeks of the A-League season after he successfully argued for a downgrade in front of an independent disciplinary and ethics committee on Friday afternoon.

The FFA's match review panel originally deemed the Socceroo's tackle on Melbourne City's Nathaniel Atkinson to be worth a three week suspension.

However, in the appeals hearing, the committee took into account Grant's exceptional record, his contribution to the community and charity work and the unlikelihood that he will reoffend.

It also noted that without such, the dangerous tackle would be worthy of a three-week suspension.

It was the first red card of the 28-year-old's professional career.

Grant, who was flanked by lawyer Peter Paradise, Sydney FC chief executive Danny Townsend and coach Steve Corica, gave a short statement after the finding.

"I'm obviously very happy with the decision," he said.

"I just want to thank everyone involved, especially over the holiday period.

"I really appreciated my side and everyone involved. I can't wait to get back out on the pitch for the Big Blue in the next couple of weeks."

The panel was shown footage of foul play incidents given similar treatment including Jamie Young's challenge on Craig Goodwin which was given three weeks but also downgraded to two matches.

A letter from Socceroos coach Graham Arnold attesting to Grant's character and professionalism was also submitted.

Earlier on Friday, Corica said he was disappointed Grant was red-carded but said he didn't believe the offence warranted a three-week ban.

"A red-card offence is one week, he's got three games, so I think that's very harsh for the player that he is," he said.

"He's played around 250 games for the club and this is his first red card. His disciplinary record is very good. He's not the nasty player that does this every week. I think that should come into it."

As it stands, Grant will miss Saturday's match against Adelaide United and Newcastle Jets before the Sky Blues have a bye in round 15.

"Even two weeks is a problem. He's a Socceroo, he's one of our best players," Corica said.