Melbourne City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after the FFA’s match review panel decided on Monday that he had a case to answer after he sledged Melbourne Victory’s Albanian striker Besart Berisha and called him a gypsy during an ill-tempered Melbourne derby on Saturday night.
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His teammate, Tim Cahill, will definitely have a week’s rest after the MRP backed referee Chris Beath’s decision to send the Socceroo legend off before he had entered the field of play after he swore at him late in the game.

The MRP determined that Cahill committed the offence of “use of offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures against a match official” and handed him the minimum sanction, a one match ban.

Bouzanis’s case is regarded with far more gravity and he may be banned for five matches if he is found guilty of the slur.

The goalkeeper clashed with Berisha – whose penalty he had saved earlier in the game – in the 88th minute of the match after City defender Manny Muscat had put through his own goal to give Victory a match winning 2-1 lead. Bouzanis called him a gypsy.

In a statement the FFA said: “The MRP has determined that, on the basis of the evidence reviewed, Bouzanis has a case to answer whether he committed the offence of “Use of discriminatory language and/or gestures, including racist, religious, ethnic or sexist” [language or gestures].

“The MRP has issued a disciplinary notice to Bouzanis and referred the incident to the Disciplinary and Ethics Committee for hearing as to whether the offence has been committed, and if so, what sanction should be imposed.”

That hearing will take place in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Bouzanis and his club issued an immediate apology on Sunday saying the goalkeeper admitted making the remarks out of ignorance but now understood the seriousness of his comments.

■ The FFA will step up its plans to broaden its membership and governance base next week by holding several meetings with key representatives ahead of changing its constitution.

The organisation has come in for some criticism about the narrow franchise and composition of its governing body, and last week it held meetings in Zurich with FIFA chiefs to discuss the changes.

Any alterations will need to be ratified at an emergency general meeting at which the nine member federations and one representative of the clubs can consider a special resolution to amend the constitution based on the outcome of the stakeholders consultation process.

“FFA bosses will meet with member federations on Monday, club chairmen on Tuesday and the Professional Footballers’ Association later in the week,” it said in a statement.

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