Set to return from a two-game ban on Sunday against Melbourne City, Roy O'Donovan has slammed the A-League for its appeals process after receiving a controversial red card.
The Newcastle Jets striker was shown red inside 12 minutes against Sydney FC earlier this month after the VAR deemed he intentionally struck Sky Blues defender Jordy Buijs.
With replays casting doubt over the intent of the Irishman whose stray arm collected Buijs in the face, O'Donovan was left frustrated with any potential failed appeal of the decision meaning he would have had his suspension extended.
Clearly frustrated after being sidelined for much of the season through injury, the Jets attacker didn't hold back in criticising how the A-League appeal's process is conducted.
"Players make mistakes, managers make mistakes, you hold your hand up and get better from it," O'Donovan said.
"I found the referee made a mistake, fair enough. The VAR made a mistake, fair enough. But on Monday you’ve got a system in place where you can put things right.
"You can say that’s probably soft, he wasn’t looking at the guy, he’s made contact but you know whatever, they’ve got an opportunity to say either it’s no suspension, it’s serious foul play or he has the right to appeal.
"Now they say you have a right to appeal but it’s a veiled threat of an extra game (suspended) if you do appeal it, so that’s not an appeal’s process."
O'Donovan's suspension would prove costly for the Jets, who grinded out a 1-0 win over Wellington a fortnight ago before being humbled 5-2 by Adelaide last week.
Having also copped an eight-match ban for a headbutt against Wellington in the 2015/16 season, the Irishman has called on the A-League to follow other codes in how it adjudicates suspensions and believes he's been unfairly typecast.
"For me if Australian football is serious, it needs to start taking itself seriously like other codes do in Australia," he said.
"Rugby league and AFL have been examples of players that can appeal, they can have their day in court and they’re not guilty just because they’re seen as some Irish hooligan.
"I’ve never even had a yellow card suspension, whatever people think of me in Australia, so that one was very hard to take and to miss two games, a month overall, it’s ridiculous really and it’s something that needs to be fixed for next season otherwise Australia’s going to be a laughing stock."