Herbert fumes over Sigmund's red card

Last updated 22:30 29/10/2012

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Wellington coach Ricki Herbert has launched  a two-pronged attack on the competency of A-League refereeing and  players ruining the game by diving.

The Phoenix mentor was responding to the A-League match review  committee's decision to uphold the red card given to defender Ben Sigmund for bringing down Adelaide's Argentine  midfielder Jeronimo Neumann in the box on Saturday.

TV replays showed plenty of space between the players in the  77th minute incident, prompting speculation Neumann might face  disciplinary action himself for diving.

Wellington skipper Andrew Durante clearly thought so, labelling  the South American a cheat in an interview after the game.

''Unfortunately the referee in our game with Adelaide did not  deal with the situation competently and we are paying the penalty  rather than the player who was guilty of simulation,'' Herbert said  of the match review committee's decision.

He then opened old wounds by recalling referee Jarred Gillett's  controversial decision to award a penalty to Brisbane in the 94th  minute of the 2012 A-League grand final against Perth.

The Roar converted the spot kick to snatch the title when the  Glory's Liam Miller was adjudged to have brought down Besart  Berisha in the box.

''This referee has been in the same situation in a Grand Final  and did not deal with it competently there either,'' said Herbert  who will have to do without Sigmund who will serve a mandatory  one-match suspension against Melbourne Victory this weekend.

''It is very disappointing for both Ben and the club that he will  miss the game against Melbourne Victory, and also wrong that the  game is being ruined by players who dive and do not get punished  for it.''

Under the competition's rules on simulation introduced two  seasons ago, any player found guilty of diving faces a standard  two-match ban.

Durante still faces the prospect of breaching the A-League  player code of conduct but he wasn't mentioned in the FFA statement  on Monday night.

An angry Durante didn't hold back in comments made to a  television interviewer on the field immediately after the match  saying: ''He has dived, he's a cheat.''

He then qualified his comment by saying: ''In my book, if he's  dived he's a cheat.''

Perth's Steve Pantelidis was also handed a mandatory one-match  suspension on Monday after a more clear-cut incident in his side's  2-1 loss to Sydney FC.

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The Glory defender was shown a red card for a blatant foul on  Brett Emerton when he dragged the midfielder to the ground in the  box in the 57th minute.

Pantelidis will miss this weekend's match against the Newcastle  Jets.

- AAP

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