Mitrovic and Silva apologise to ‘top ref’ Chris Kavanagh after meltdown

Fulham duo Aleksandar Mitrovic and Marco Silva have offered comprehensive apologies to Chris Kavanagh following the Old Trafford meltdown that put them in hot water with the FA.

A charge of abusive behaviour towards match officials have been levelled at Silva, who lashed out after Willian's red card for handball which occurred with Fulham leading Manchester United.

Mitrovic has been charged with violent and improper conduct having seen red for shoving Kavanagh, with Fulham going on to lose 3-1 with nine men as their semi-final dreams were ended.

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With both apologies posted to the Fulham website, Silva said: "Emotions were high at Old Trafford and, as I said in my press conference after the game, I should have controlled my own emotions better. It was a very difficult moment, in a match that we had dominated, but I could have handled the situation better.

"I regret what happened, and I have spoken to Chris Kavanagh to apologise. He knows that I respect him and the job he has to do. Unfortunately, we did not see eye-to-eye on the day, but I recognise that he is one of the top referees in this country and I know that, when our paths cross again, there will be mutual respect between us.

"I am sorry that I was not on the pitch to try to lead the team to what could have been an historic FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, but I am thankful for all the support I have received from Fulham fans over the last few days."

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With Mitrovic, who has been on international duty with Serbia, saying: "I have been away with my national team and have had some time to reflect on the Manchester United match. As everyone knows, it was a very emotional one, in which the team gave absolutely everything on the pitch to try to reach the semi-final of the FA Cup.

"On a personal level, I regret my actions that led to me being sent off. I allowed my frustration to get the better of me, and how I reacted was wrong. I was trying to get the referee’s attention, but I appreciate that I should not have put my hands on him and I understand why he showed me a red card, my first in-game sending off for Fulham and my first since the 2015/16 season.

"I have accepted the three-match ban for my red card, I have spoken to Chris Kavanagh to apologise, and I have volunteered to accept a club fine. I now want to do what I can to put this incident behind me and get back to helping my teammates on the pitch as soon as possible.

"In the meantime, I would like to reiterate my regret that this happened. I have already said sorry to my teammates, but I would also like to apologise to the Fulham fans, particularly those who travelled to Old Trafford to support us and who did not stop singing all game. I hope to be back soon and repay their faith and support."

With Chris Sutton calling for Mitrovic to be handed a 10 game ban, the Fulham duo are yet to learn their fate with the club requesting a meeting with the FA.

With Fulham taking on Bournemouth on Saturday, assistant boss Luis Boa Morte is set to be in the dugout with Carlos Vinicius the frontrunner to replace Mitrovic.

Fulham, who had been relegated in each of their three previous Premier League seasons, sit ninth in the table after 27 fixtures, a point ahead of Chelsea.


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