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Webster escapes ban

Published: 2:53PM Saturday December 30, 2006 Source: Newstalk ZB/ONE Sport

Brawling Perth Glory players Jamie Harnwell and Adrian Webster have escaped an immediate suspension, but have been fined half a week's wages by the club, after their on-field punch-up following the 0-0 draw against Adelaide earlier this week.

Glory skipper Harnwell and New Zealand international Webster had to be pulled apart on the pitch, and reportedly again in the dressing room, after frustrations over Glory's on-field failures this year were aired on television at Member's Equity Stadium on Friday.

On Saturday, the club announced both players had been handed a suspended one-match ban, fines which are the maximum allowable under the A-League code of conduct, an official reprimand and been ordered to pay a "good behaviour bond" of $NZ1,100 to the club.

A Football Federation Australia spokesman confirmed it is happy with the sanctions, and would not be taking any further action.

And Glory CEO Michelle Phillips said the incident was now over, as far as the club was concerned.

"They are both very embarrassed and very remorseful over the incident," Phillips said.

"But when we drive out of the gates this afternoon for us the whole incident is over and what we have got to focus on now  ... is working out how we are going to beat Melbourne Victory.

"They did apologise to each other. They have walked out of the room teammates, they have apologised and certainly said it was a one-off, isolated incident - there was nothing leading up to that."

Coach Ron Smith said on Saturday he would have been more worried if the players had not made their peace - while saying he had had to deal with similar incidents in his coaching career.

"They want to show people there are no ill feelings, it is over and done with, they have made their apologies and we have got to get on with it," Smith said.

"If that wasn't the case it would be far more serious ... everybody has got the same intention, they regret what has happened, we do as a club, I certainly do as a coach.

"We have made it clear there is a zero tolerance. But whilst nobody likes it, or condones it, it is a fact of life that it happens."

Despite neither player fronting the media, both were in training at Glory headquarters on Saturday, even briefly holding hands at one point during a jogging exercise.

After the squad had put on a show of solidarity for the cameras, Harnwell was given backing as club captain, whilst Webster's future at the club would be determined by on field form, according to Smith.

"You are a human being first and captain second, and people have emotions and sometimes is it hard to control yourself," Smith said.

"As a sportsman, you remain pretty highly charged for some time after a game. It takes me hours to come down after a game, so there is always that potential I guess.

"(Adrian's future) will be judged on his performance on the field."