Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ever since the Vancouver Whitecaps' explosive match on Friday night against Miami, that saw Caps players Wesley Charles and Charles Gbeke fighting each other both on and off pitch and both players red carded, Vancouver fans have been anxiously awaiting what punishments will be meted out to the players by both the Club and the USL.

Well today everyone found out.

Both players have publically apologised for the incidents and the Whitecaps announced on Monday that both players had been fined. The Caps weren't going to comment on any suspensions until after the USL announced what suspensions they would be hitting the players with.

Past history in other leagues left the fans fearing the worst.

Looking at two high profile cases that stay fresh in our memories, the bust up between Hearts players Craig Levein and Graham Hogg in a friendly at Raith in 1994 saw Levein break Hogg's nose in an on field bust up and receive a 14 game ban. Hogg received a 10 game ban.

The most well known incident of recent times was the one between Newcastle's Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer at St James Park in 2005. Both players were sent off in footage that was seen all over the globe. Dyer was banned for three games and Bowyer for four.

The USL have thankfully not taken that harsh a stance on the incident, banning both players for just one match each. They even included Gbeke in their "Team of the Week" for his two goals on Friday!

The Whitecaps have also banned each player for a further one game, but both players will be remaining at the Club.

The punishments could have been a lot lot worse and with both players key to the Whitecaps success this season, all Caps fans can breathe a collected sigh of relief that they will not be absent for too long.

All we can hope for is that the peace pipe has been well and truely smoked and no further repercussions or incidents stem from what happened Friday. Everyone needs to move on and put it all behind them because the one thing that has been made abundantly clear is that any repeat of what happened, either on the pitch or at training, and neither player will find themselves in Vancouver for much longer.

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