By Keith Hackett

22nd Mar, 2023 | 6:30am

Ex-Fifa official: Fulham star Aleksandar Mitrovic could now miss rest of the season

Keith Hackett has insisted Fulham star man Aleksandar Mitrovic should be slapped with a “minimum 10-game ban” after he manhandled referee Chris Kavanagh.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee cited similar suspensions for Sheffield Wednesday’s Paolo Di Canio (11 games, 1998) and Southampton’s David Prutton (10 games, 2005).

Mitrovic was left incensed by the seemingly clear-cut decision to send Willian off for a handball on the line during their eventual FA Cup defeat against Man United on Sunday (19 March).

As seen in footage posted to Twitter by ITV Football, the Serbia international shouted in the face of Kavanagh, before pushing him.

Mitrovic, manager Marco Silva and Fulham as a club have subsequently been charged by the FA – who released a statement confirming that a standard punishment will be “clearly insufficient”.

The Cottagers, who are in the hunt for European qualification, have just 11 games remaining this term – meaning Mitrovic could miss the rest of the 2022-23 campaign.

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Hackett told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “The referee is trying to ignore him.

“Mitrovic has manhandled him, and he’s rightly got a red card. It was venomous, what he did. He was angry.

“Now we come to the sanctions. Famous examples are Di Canio and David Prutton, who got 11 and 10 games for something similar.

“This is in the same area.

“The referee has gone through the correct processes in the game, and I commend him for that.

“Fulham imploded when they had a good chance to win the game and advance to Wembley – and now it’s likely to have an even bigger impact on their season.

“Mitrovic has to receive a minimum 10-game ban.

“Why is the Professional Footballer’s Association not coming in on these incidents? They’ve got to try and persuade players to take a better approach.”

In other news, pundit tells Liverpool to complete “early” deal for Fulham star after “£60m” reveal.