Players jump to Viduka's defence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Players jump to Viduka's defence

27/01/2003 07:40:24 PM Comments (0)

Leeds United and Gillingham players have defended Socceroo Mark Viduka over his sending-off in their FA Cup fourth round match.

Viduka faces a three-match ban for violent conduct after elbowing the first division club's player-manager Andy Hessenthaler last Saturday.

But Leeds captain Dominic Matteo and Gillingham's Mali international Mamady Sidibe both said Viduka should have stayed on the field.

"If Mark had meant to do that, he'd have killed him," Matteo said.

"I thought he (Hessenthaler) made a meal of it, but I'd like to see it on TV again before I judge him."

Sidibe, who scored Gillingham's equaliser within minutes of Viduka's departure, said referee Neale Barry had made a mistake.

"Viduka was very unlucky. It was not a red card," Sidibe said.

"They went for the ball together and it was an accident, no more than that. Maybe it was a yellow card, but that is all.

"I'm very sorry for him because it was not a bad foul but my coach was not pretending he was hurt either.

"Viduka is a nice man."

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