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FFA to review Arnold's yellow card tactic

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/04/2017 Ben McKay

Graham Arnold won't face sanction for asking players to pick up bookings ahead of the A-League finals but an FFA review could end the controversial practice.

Arnold asked Sky Blues midfielders Josh Brillante and Brandon O'Neill to earn cautions in the late stages of Saturday night's win over Melbourne City.

The bookings mean the young pair is scrubbed out of this weekend's trip to Wellington due to accumulation of yellow cards - thus removing the threat of that occurring a fortnight later in the finals series.

To some, it's a canny tactic.

But it was a little too crudely employed for A-League chief Greg O'Rourke's liking, who slapped down the premiership-winning Sydney FC coach.

O'Rourke has spoken with the head of FFA's integrity unit with a view to banning the practice.

"We're disappointed that we have coaches out there that are overtly calling for their players to commit fouls," he said on Tuesday.

"Right across the world of football this happens but other leagues have taken the step through their integrity units to actually include specific rules that actually sanction this sort of behaviour.

"We don't currently have those (rules) but we'll be looking to do that."

FFA has deemed the matter to fall short of calling the game into disrepute, and so has closed the book on Saturday's indiscretion.

"We're not prepared retrospectively take any action (against Arnold)," O'Rourke.

Commentators Mark Bosnich and John Kosmina both backed Arnold's move given there was nothing in the rules to prevent it.

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