NEW YORK, NY – Major League Soccer has fined and suspended Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Vanni Sartini for multiple violations of league policy on November 5 during, and following, Vancouver’s match against Los Angeles Football Club.
“Following our last match, I have taken the time to reflect, listen, and will always continue to learn,” said Vanni Sartini, Whitecaps FC head coach. “As I shared at our end-of-season media conference, I am deeply sorry for my actions on the field, as well as my poor choice of words. I know that it is not easy to be a match official. This was not a good reflection of the respect that I have for the work that they do, so for that, again, I am sorry. I also regret that because of my actions, l will not be on the bench for the start of our MLS season. I have already been in contact with the league, and I am committed to all recommendations and will also look for additional opportunities to learn and grow.”
In the 95th minute, Sartini was shown a red card and dismissed from the game by match officials. Along with the automatic one-match suspension that accompanies a red card, MLS has issued an additional five-match suspension for his violation of league policies, including entering the field of play in a confrontational manner and public criticism following the match. Sartini has also been issued a $20,000 fine and must complete a league-approved behavioral assessment and comply with any recommended treatment.
Sartini will serve his one-match suspension for the red card during Vancouver’s first match of the 2024 MLS regular season followed by an additional five matches during Vancouver’s ensuing regular season games.
Based on his compliance within any recommended treatment programs, Sartini may petition for a reduction of his suspension.
Throughout the multiple MLS game suspension, Sartini will continue to conduct training and all other team activities. Sartini will be permitted in the stadium on MLS matchdays; however, he will be prohibited from accessing the stadium tunnel area, locker rooms or field level from ninety (90) minutes before kickoff until the conclusion of the match. A suspended coach will not communicate with their team or Club staff from ninety (90) minutes before kickoff until the conclusion of the match. This is an MLS suspension and does not apply to preseason, Concacaf Champions Cup, or Canadian Championship matches.
For a summary of additional MLS Disciplinary Committee Decisions, CLICK HERE.