Wanderers accept La Rocca A-League ban

March 25, 2013

Western Sydney Wanderers will be without key utility Iacopo La Rocca for their inaugural A-League final series after the club elected not to contest his four-match ban.

La Rocca was handed a straight red card by referee Kris Griffiths-Jones for elbowing Sydney FC's Terry Antonis late in Saturday's pulsating 1-1 draw and will not play again this season.

While a direct red card attracts a mandatory one-game suspension, the A-League's match review panel decided the incident warranted an additional sanction of three matches.

It means the Wanderers will be without La Rocca for Friday's match against Newcastle, their home semi-final and the grand final, should they make it that far.

La Rocca's loss is a major concern for coach Tony Popovic with Japanese star Shinji Ono, Jerome Polenz, Michael Beauchamp and Aaron Mooy all carrying injuries.

The Wanderers' depth is certain to be put to the test as they attempt to secure the premiers' plate when they face Newcastle in their final-round clash on Friday.

Popovic said he wouldn't gamble on the fitness of his players.

"Some of them have made some progress and we will continue to monitor them and give them every opportunity to play," he said in a statement.

"However, we will only play players who are fully fit to take the pitch and we will not take any risks."