Melbourne Victory footballer Kevin Muscat has been handed an eight-match ban following his horrific scissor challenge on Adrian Zahra at the weekend.
The suspension could effectively bring the curtains down on the 37-year-old Australian’s career who was expected to retire at the end of the season.
Muscat’s challenge on 20-year-old rookie Zahra was globally condemned by the footballing community.
The centre-half was playing against Melbourne Heart when he lunged at the opposing player – nearly slicing the player in half.
Muscat, 37, then had the temerity to yell towards the referee when he was handed an instant red card for the challenge, which catapulted Zahra into mid-air before leaving the winger sprawled out over the floor.
It was initially thought Zahra had torn his knee ligaments but he only suffered partial tears. Former Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich described the challenge as “disgraceful”.
The challenge has been viewed more than two million times on Youtube since the weekend.
Muscat has accepted the punishment and admitted questioning his future in the sport.
In a statement released by his club, he said: “While I was relieved to hear Adrian’s injuries weren’t career-threatening, I’m still bitterly disappointed by my actions and I wish him a speedy recovery.
“My focus over recent days has been on Adrian Zahra and I was pleased to be able to personally apologise to him on Monday – which thankfully he accepted.
“My actions warranted a lengthy suspension and that’s what has eventuated, so now I have to sit down with a variety of people and work out where we go from here.”