ADELAIDE United defender Michael Marrone is facing a significant ban, after being sent off in the FFA Cup final for manhandling a ball boy.
Marrone's attempt to grab the ball from the ball boy at Allianz Stadium, just after Sydney had scored what turned out to be the winning goal, sparked a melee involving most players from both teams, and is likely to be viewed harshly by A-League authorities.
The United defender chased the ball off the pitch in the 115th minute of the final, and wrapped his arms around the ball boy, knocking him to the ground. Furious Sydney striker Matt Simon in turn tackled Marrone, and had to be restrained by United boss Marco Kurz before order was restored.
Marrone was shown a red card and can expect a ban of several games. Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard was banned for three games after he clashed with a ball boy in 2013.
United boss Marco Kurz apologised to the ball boy on behalf of his club, and said Marrone's actions were out of character.
"I said sorry to the boy and his Dad - what happened was not in the character of Mickey, he is a very quiet boy," Kurz said.
"In this moment we can only say sorry. Mickey is very down, I think he spoke with the boy.
"It's not in his nature, but we will apologise for the club and the players."
Kurz said that calming Simon had taken "a lot of strength", at the centre of the melee.
"There was emotion on all sides, I was trying to calm him," he said.
"He was angry - I said, you are 100 per cent correct but don't make a mistake."
The ball boy was unhurt, and later received a cup winners' medal from Sydney defender Michael Zullo.
After the match, a more composed Simon labelled the whole fracas "a heat-of-the- moment thing".
"Mickey obviously wanted to get the game going quicker," Simon said.
"We all know Mickey hasn't got that in him, but unfortunately it happened.
"The ball boy held the ball and Mickey wanted to get it back into play quickly, and he took things into his own hands.
"The ball boy being involved in a situation like that, it's not always a good thing to see."