Mitrovic apologizes to referee for pushing him

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Aleksandar Mitrovic apologized to referee after FA cup exit, says ‘I allowed frustration to get better of me’

Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has apologized to referee Chris Kavanagh for pushing the official during the Cottagers’ FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.

Mitrovic was charged with violent and improper conduct after his straight red card and is facing a lengthy ban after the Football Association said its standard punishment for his sending off at Manchester United was “clearly insufficient”.

The 28-year-old said time away with his national side had allowed him time to reflect on the match at Old Trafford, in which he was dismissed for pushing referee Kavanagh as he protested the awarding of a penalty either side of red cards for boss Marco Silva and team-mate Willian.

“On a personal level, I regret my actions that led to me being sent off. I allowed my frustration to get the better of me, and how I reacted was wrong,” he said.

“I was trying to get the referee’s attention, but I appreciate that I should not have put my hands on him and I understand why he showed me a red card, my first in-game sending off for Fulham and my first since the 2015-16 season.

“I have accepted the three-match ban for my red card, I have spoken to Chris Kavanagh to apologise, and I have volunteered to accept a club fine. I now want to do what I can to put this incident behind me and get back to helping my team-mates on the pitch as soon as possible.”

Mitrovic would typically face a three-match suspension for a straight red card for violent conduct, however, that ban can be extended depending on the circumstances.

Former Premier League striker Chris Sutton called for Mitrovic to be given a 10-match ban – which was echoed by former referees’ chief Keith Hackett – but boss Silva appealed for “fairness” from the FA.

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