Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Loses Appeal of Red Card, Altidore to Join Giovinco on the Sidelines

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Loses Appeal of Red Card, Altidore to Join Giovinco on the Sidelines

Article excerpt

Toronto's Altidore loses appeal of red card


TORONTO - The news, while perhaps not unexpected, was not good for Toronto FC on Wednesday.

An independent panel upheld referee Chris Penso's decision to issue a red card to Altidore for violent conduct, rejecting Toronto's appeal. The decision means both of Toronto's star strikers are suspended for the Nov. 21 start of the Eastern Conference final in Columbus.

Sebastian Giovinco got a one-game ban after picking up two yellow cards -- for time wasting and dissent -- over the two-leg conference semifinal win over the New York Red Bulls.

Altidore and Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan were ejected after the two teams clashed in the BMO Field tunnel at halftime of Game 2 of the semifinal Nov. 5.

Both teams appealed their red cards with Toronto saying its security camera footage showed their man was not at fault.

"The burden of proof for us was to unequivocally prove that what we think and what we understand to have happened did happen," said Toronto coach Greg Vanney. "We weren't able to do that conclusively with the video because there's still little gaps in the video."

There was no immediate word on the Red Bulls' appeal of the incident.

The three-person independent panel is made up of representatives from the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Canadian Soccer Association and the Professional Referee Organization.

Each MLS club is entitled to two unsuccessful appeals per season, including the playoffs.

Altidore, who had expressed confidence that the video would vindicate him, did not speak to the media Wednesday. Vanney described him as frustrated.

The incident may not be over. Both Altidore and Kljestan could face supplemental punishment from the league's disciplinary committee, which is comprised of three former MLS players, one former MLS coach and a former MLS referee.

That committee can add to the mandatory one-game suspension for a red card and/or issue a fine for "those offences the committee deems to be of an egregious nature, or where the committee believes it must act to protect player safety or the integrity of the game."

Altidore and Kljestan had words late in the first half after Altidore went to the defence of Giovinco, who was facing up with Tyler Adams. …

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