FC Cincinnati’s Djiby Fall — who has raced out the United Soccer League’s goal scoring lead including notching the lone goal against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in their 1-0 win at Highmark Stadium in early April, has received a six-game suspension and undisclosed fine.
It consists of a one-game suspension and fine for the red card for serious foul play, and an additional five-game suspension and fine for major game misconduct during last week’s match against Louisville City FC.
Fall’s suspension runs through June 3, pending any schedule changes.
What wasn’t included in the USL Discipline Report that was released earlier on Wednesday, were specifics of what happened.
After Saturday’s contest, some additional controversy continued in the aftermath of the incident that happened late in the contest between Louisville City FC and FC Cincinnati.
In a post-match interview first reported by the Courier-Journal, Louisville City coach James O’Connor accused the FC Cincinnati striker of biting Louisville City midfielder Niall McCabe on the face during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
Fall and McCabe confronted each other after Fall was shown a straight red card in the match’s 87th minute.
According to the Courier-Journal, photos taken by Louisville City team photographer EM Dash Photography show the two players so close they are touching chests. In one photo, Fall has his mouth pressed against the right side of McCabe’s face.
Another photo shows McCabe with what appears to be a mark on his right cheek about an inch below his ear.
Of course, from the FCC side of things, Fall had a lot of support from his team and the Cincinnati fans which denied the biting claims.
As accusations was made by Louisville City — and FCC were adamantly defending their star player — the league office and president began an internal investigation on Sunday that concluded on Wednesday.
We don’t exactly know what they saw — but if Fall really did bite McCabe, a longer suspension would’ve been in the cards.
Still, what’s curious about all of this is the lack of information from the league office about the specifics of what that additional suspension was for “major game misconduct.
As you may be aware, the Riverhounds in the past year have some experience in dealing with the league office handing down major suspensions.
The team actually acted swiftly last year after Romeo Parkes‘ kicking of Karl Ouimette in the back and subsequent meltdown to terminate the Jamaican’s contract. The USL also didn’t waste any time banning Parkes’ from the league very shortly after that.
Later in the season, Riverhounds veteran midfielder Danny Earls was suspended for eight games last season for a push of an official after he was issued a card for a hard tackle.
I guess the ‘biting’ question remains — did Djiby bite McCabe?
Based on his suspension — the USL thinks so — but they’re not quite sure.
The Riverhounds won’t face FC Cincinnati again until later in the season, with a September 2 return match at Nippert Stadium. The Hounds will face Louisville City FC on May 20 at home.