Fulham star Aleksandar Mitrovic has ‘volunteered’ to receive a fine from the club following his dismissal in the FA Cup quarter-finals clash with Manchester United. The striker was dismissed by referee Chris Kavanagh for aggressively laying his hands on the official.
Fulham were 1-0 up at the time of their meltdown at Old Trafford, with the team self-destructing in the 71st minute and throwing away any chance of a shock win against United - going on to lose 3-1. Mitrovic and manager Marco Silva were both sent off for protesting against Willian’s dismissal for handling a goal-bound effort, despite VAR clearly showing the incident.
Mitrovic has now revealed that he has personally spoken with Kavanagh to apologise for his actions, and is willing to do whatever it takes to repay the faith of supporters. He explained: “I have been away with my national team and have had some time to reflect on the Manchester United match. As everyone knows, it was a very emotional one, in which the team gave absolutely everything on the pitch to try to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup.
“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. 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.”
The Serbia international then went on to explain that he has offered to be fined for his actions in order to display his regret about the situation. He continued: “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 teammates on the pitch as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, I would like to reiterate my regret that this happened. I have already said sorry to my teammates, but I would also like to apologise to the Fulham fans, particularly those who travelled to Old Trafford to support us and who did not stop singing all game. I hope to be back soon and repay their faith and support.”
The absence of Silva on the sidelines for the latter stages of the quarter-final also proved to be decisive, and the ex-Everton manager has also spoken openly about how ‘emotions’ got the better of him. He said: “Emotions were high at Old Trafford and, as I said in my press conference after the game, I should have controlled my own emotions better. It was a very difficult moment, in a match that we had dominated, but I could have handled the situation better.
“I regret what happened, and I have spoken to Chris Kavanagh to apologise. He knows that I respect him and the job he has to do. Unfortunately, we did not see eye-to-eye on the day, but I recognise that he is one of the top referees in this country and I know that, when our paths cross again, there will be mutual respect between us.”