Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha has revealed he felt a mixture of relief, excitement and vindication after having his two-game suspension reduced by the independent Disciplinary Committee on Tuesday night.
Berisha and club legal representatives successfully cleared the 30-year-old to play in Friday night’s all-or-nothing Elimination Final against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
“I’m very happy, of course,” Berisha said after the hearing.
“I always want just to play football, especially these games. You work so hard all season, all the sacrifices you make, just to be part of these moments.
“I love these moments in the finals, to be part of this.
“I thank the Disciplinary Committee for understanding me and making this happen.”
After Berisha was handed a two-game ban last week, Victory decided to bring the matter to the independent Disciplinary Committee.
The three-person panel agreed that the one-game suspension Berisha served in Round 27 was sufficient, and cleared him to play.
“I was very scared. You don’t know what will happen. This is my first trial – I’ve never had this before,” Berisha said.
“I was feeling sure what happened and was confident. But I was scared because these are the games footballers want to play.
“They work so hard all season for this moment, and you want to be part of this and try to help your club and your teammates and your supporters to achieve something.”
For ticketing information for week one of the Hyundai A-League 2016 Finals Series, click here.