Marko Rudan
Western Sydney coach Marko Rudan is facing a sanction over his angry post-match comments. Image by Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS
  • soccer

Wanderers coach Rudan suspended for referees rant

Joanna Guelas February 16, 2024

Western Sydney boss Marko Rudan has been handed the longest A-League Men coaching suspension in eight years for his attack on referees.

Rudan will be out of action for at least two matches after Football Australia found his post-match tirade against referee Adam Kersey was “offensive”.

 Wanderers boss Marko Rudan will miss matches against Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United. Image by Zain Mohammed/AAP PHOTOS 

“He was found to have engaged in intimidating another person, creating a hostile or unsafe environment within the sport,” a FA statement said on Friday.

“(He) made comments, statements, or representations to the public, including via any contribution to any form of media, that are disparaging or derogatory of an official.”

The sanction leaves Rudan with a three-match ban, one game suspended, until the end of the 2024/25 season.

It is the longest sanction since former Adelaide United coach Guillermo Amor served a two-match ban, with the added warning of two suspended, for making “intentional contact” with a match official in 2016.

In 2020, then Melbourne Victory coach Marco Kurz was suspended for one match after abusing an official during a controversial 3-2 loss to Central Coast.

Rudan’s sanctions come after FA chief James Johnson vowed on Tuesday to come down hard on the abuse of match officials.

Johnson said a recent spate of incidents involving referees had triggered “alarm bells” for FA.

The Western Sydney coach had confronted Kersey following the full-time whistle after his team’s round-14 defeat to Macarthur before unleashing his six-minute monologue.

Rudan was frustrated Wanderers defender Tom Beadling had been shown a straight red, while Macarthur forward Valere Germain, who coincidentally scored the winning goal in the 90th minute, stayed on the field for a challenge on Beadling.

“There is an absolute stigma attached to my football club. It’s clear for all to see,” Rudan said after the match.

“The game changed on its head with the red card and everything else.

“In the last two weeks, I’ve had two players who are not synonymous for making fouls or being dirty, yet straight reds.

“For the life of me, how Germain stays on the pitch when he kicks at my player in that first half – I have absolutely no idea.

“I’m not sitting here having a sook or a whinge, whatever it might sound like – I’m just defending my football club.”

He then doubled down on his attack on the league as a whole, turning the gun on commissioner Nick Garcia and bemoaning the competition’s lack of goal-line technology at a mid-week press conference.

Rudan will miss out on Sunday’s match against second-placed Central Coast Mariners, and Adelaide United on February 24.

He will be able to return for their match against fierce derby rivals Sydney FC on March 2.