Avraam Papadopoulos' admits spitting was a 'serious error of judgment'
An apologetic Avraam Papadopoulos is facing at least six weeks on the sidelines for spitting at Matt Simon in a huge A-League controversy exacerbated by yet another video assistant referee blunder.
Sydney FC, meanwhile, will not rule out appealing Simon's red card, baffled as to how their striker could be dealt the same punishment as Papadopoulos during Saturday night's 3-1 win.
After a near four-minute VAR review, referee Alex King dismissed both players for the ugly second-half incident, when Papadopoulos spat in the direction of Simon.
The Sky Blues frontman reacted by grabbing the shirt of the Roar defender, who immediately went to ground.
"Matty shouldn't have retaliated, but I don't think it warranted what he got," Sydney coach Graham Arnold said.
"How would you react if you got spat at? It's not great ... no doubt it will go to the match review panel on Monday night.
"First we've got to see what their decision is ... they might waive it and let him off."
The Roar got on the front foot late on Saturday night, issuing a statement containing an apology from Papadopoulos for his "serious error of judgment" after "letting game-related emotions get the better of me."
Coach John Aloisi, who immediately apologised to Arnold on behalf of the club, said the Roar would deal with the situation internally on return to Brisbane on Monday.
"As a club, we don't condone it," Aloisi said.
"It's not acceptable to spit ... it's very unlike Avraam - he's a great guy."
Regardless, Papadopoulos is looking at a lengthy suspension that would further eat into Aloisi's injury-hit defence.
According to the A-League's disciplinary regulations, the minimum sanction for spitting on another player is six matches.
In 2008, Melbourne Victory's Brazilian Striker Ney Fabiano copped a nine-match ban -- subsequently reduced to six on appeal -- for spitting at Adelaide United's Robert Cornthwaite.
Saturday's episode yet again thrust the VAR into a negative spotlight, having taken a total three minutes 49 seconds from the moment Papadopoulos spat until referee Alex King dealt out his two red cards.
As King reviewed the footage on a tiny sideline screen, fans angrily pointed for him to look at the big screens showing the replay simultaneously.
Aloisi admitted his vexation with the VAR process, also taking issue with the upheld penalty call for handball against Jacob Pepper and an apparent missed handball by Alex Brosque in the lead-up to David Carney's opener.
"We still don't understand the VAR properly -- I don't think anyone does," Aloisi said.
"It's taking a long time. It's going to improve and the decisions I'm sure won't take as long. I'm sure it's frustrating for the referees as well.
"It's frustrating for players, coaches, fans, because of the time it's wasting. And not always are the correct decisions being made even with it."