Chivas captain Jair Pereira got a little too familiar with Sean Davis (which is a polite way of saying he grabbed the New York Red Bulls midfielder by the throat) in the first leg of his team’s 2018 CONCACAF Champions League semifinal against RBNY.
Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch told the team’s beat reporters he’d been impressed by the speed with which CONCACAF acted with regard to the incident (which the referee allowed to pass without comment), saying the confederation had already initiated a review before RBNY was able to file any sort of complaint. And the outcome of that review was a two-game suspension for Pereira.
Chivas acted equally swiftly, filing an appeal and bringing Pereira along for the second leg at Red Bull Arena in the hope that CONCACAF would agree that suspending players for choking opponents is an overreaction.
Chivas traveled to New York this afternoon, ahead of Tuesday's #CCL semifinal 2nd leg at Red Bull Arena. Jair Pereira still traveled with the team, because they're trying to appeal his 2 match suspension for grabbing Sean Davis by the throat. Crazy. #CONCACAF #RBNY #SCCL2018 pic.twitter.com/QrLHT9Q3eM— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) April 8, 2018
But the CONCACAF Appeals Committee did not see fit to lift Pereira’s suspension. Per a press release from CONCACAF:
The Appeals Committee reviewed the basis of the appeal submitted by the club on Monday, April 9, and determined, per the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Regulations and the FIFA Disciplinary Code which govern the competition, that the Committee does not have the jurisdiction to review the case.
You tell ‘em, CONCACAF - can’t be choking opponents in CCL...wait, what? You didn’t uphold the suspension because it was appropriate, you upheld it because the Appeals Committee didn’t have jurisdiction?
Yep. Turns out the CONCACAF Appeals Committee convened itself and its first act was to read the rules that define its authority.
The Appeals Committee arrived at its determination in consideration of Article VII paragraph A.7 of the competition regulations, and Article 118, Paragraph c,) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code which states:
An appeal may be lodged with the Appeal Committee against any decision passed by the Disciplinary Committee, unless the disciplinary measure pronounced is: c) a suspension for fewer than three matches or of up to two months.
Pereira’s two-game suspension is too short for the Appeals Committee to consider overruling it.
This might have been useful information to share with Chivas before the appeal was filed - perhaps saving the penny-pinching club the price of a plane ticket and hotel accommodation for a suspended player. Or maybe Chivas should have read the CONCACAF rule book before troubling the Appeals Committee.
Either way, the outcome is the same: Jair Pereira put a hand around Sean Davis’ neck in Guadalajara, and for that he’s suspended for two games. He won’t be playing against RBNY in the second leg of the 2018 CCL semifinal.