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Broadmeadow Magic ready to appeal against Oxborrow’s ban for spitting

BROADMEADOW Magic appear willingto risk an increased sanction by challenging Mitch Oxborrow’s five-game ban for spitting.
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DILEMMA: Broadmeadow Magic’s Mitch Oxborrow is risking an even longer suspension if he unsuccessfully appeals against a five-game ban for spitting on a rival player. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

Northern NSW Football confirmed the suspension on Wednesday after an incident involving Oxborrow and Adamstown Rosebud’s Alex Graham last month.

As revealed by the Newcastle Herald on July 18, Adamstown players remonstrated withreferee James Cleal and their club lodged a post-match complaint, alleging Oxborrow spat on Graham in the 71stminute of the round-17 match at Magic Park.

The incident was not included in Cleal’s match report, but after Adamstown’s complaint Oxborrow was cited to appear before the competition’s disciplinary panel.

After hearing evidence from Oxborrow, Graham and other players from both teams, the former A-League midfielderwas banned for five games.

Broadmeadow chairman Steve Foteff said the club was “disappointed” about the outcome of the hearing and believedOxborrow was not guilty of the allegation.

Under NNSWF regulations, they have seven days to lodge an appeal, or grievance, which carries with it a $1000 non-refundable fee.

“We haven’t lodged anything yet, but I’d say we’re 90 per cent committed to lodging an appeal,” Foteff said.

“It’s still a bit up in the air, but we feel very strongly that the decision taken wasn’t fair and so we are working towards formulating an appeal.”

Foteff said Magic were “resigned” to the likelihood of Oxborrow missing a number of games, regardless of whether his appeal was upheld.

“I don’t know how long the whole process is going to take, but on a matter of principle, we are probably going to have to take this course of action,” he said.

If Magic committo a grievance hearing, an independent legal expert will be hired and he or she will be entitled to considervideo evidence.

There isBarTV footage of the incident, but it is understood the disciplinary panel,as perNNSWFpolicy, did not review it.

Instead the panel based its findings on the apparently contrastingstatements of players from the two teams.

The grievance commissioner has the authority to dismiss, decrease or increase anysanction imposed by the disciplinary panel.

So by challenging the ban, Broadmeadow might be able to secure an exoneration for Oxborrow, or alternatively the 23-year-old could face an even longer suspension.

As it stands, he will miss the final three rounds of Broadmeadow’s Northern NSW NPL season and the first leg of their semi-final, shouldthey qualify. Broadmeadow are third on 32 points, six points clear of fifth spot. He is also ineligible for FFA Cup fixtures, which means he will miss Magic’s round-of-16 match later this month.

Anyincrease tohis ban would potentially jeopardise Oxborrow’s hopes of appearing in the NPL grand final.

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