Besart Berisha free to play after suspension reduced


Melbourne Victory’s bid to reduce Besart Berisha’s two-game suspension has been successful.

Berisha will now be available to take his place in the Victory line-up for Friday night’s Elimination Final against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

Berisha, along with Victory officials, presented to an independent Disciplinary Committee via video link from Melbourne on Tuesday night.

The Match Review Panel had initially proposed a two-game sanction on Berisha for the offence of assault on a player (e.g. violent conduct when not challenging for the ball) against Wellington Phoenix’s Andrew Durante in Round 26.

Berisha was offered the mandatory one-match suspension (which he served against Brisbane in Round 27), plus one additional match.

“We had a fair hearing tonight, and we’re very pleased Besart has been cleared to play in the Elimination Final this week,” said Victory football operations manager Paul Trimboli.

“We were confident we had a strong case and we are happy the Disciplinary Committee ruled in our favour.

“Besart is an important player to our team and we felt duty-bound to exhaust all avenues to give him an opportunity to represent the club this weekend.

“In the end, our decision to take the matter to the Disciplinary Committee was vindicated.”