Central Coast Mariners to leave Perez matter

Central Coast Mariners have decided to accept the two-match ban handed to striker Patricio Perez.

Central Coast Mariners have decided to accept the two-match ban handed to striker Patricio Perez.

The Argentine recruit was suspended for simulation after ‘diving’ in the penalty area against Sydney FC on Saturday and after initially considering legal action, the Mariners will cop the punishment and move on.

“Patricio Perez has been recruited from Argentina, and in the half-hour he played against Sydney FC proved he may well be one of the greatest assets the Hyundai A-League has in its quest to become the pre-eminent football code in the country,” Mariners chairman Peter Turnbull said.

“Patricio maintains there was definitely contact by the goalkeeper on his back leg and the replays prove that he had his eyes on the ball at all times as he tried to round the ‘keeper to score.

“The club has engaged the assistance of Biomechanical experts from the University of Newcastle to study the vision of the incident, and the report they have provided us supports his innocence.

“(Referee) Matthew Breeze was in an excellent position and made an immediate decision after the goalkeeper left his line and lunged at the feet of Perez.

“Patricio is hugely respected in his home country, he’s played alongside some of the world’s biggest stars, and after this news reached the Argentine media, his reputation has suffered, but I would like to commend him for the dignity, respect and professional attitude he has shown through this most difficult time.

“We have also been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received from Mariners Members and supporters, and from football supporters in general. Patricio and the club are indeed grateful for this support.”