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FC Edmonton’s Jonke to return from suspension after RailHawks’ rematch

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John Jonke
The North American Soccer League announced Tuesday that FC Edmonton defender John Jonke’s suspension will end after Saturday’s match in Carolina against the RailHawks.

Jonke was red-carded in last Wednesday’s match against Carolina, when he came in late and clattered into RailHawks’ midfielder Matt Watson.

FC Edmonton had initially reported over the weekend that the club had been informed that Jonke would be suspended for three games. The centre back was sorely missed on Sunday, when FCE dropped a 2-1 decision to FC Tampa Bay.

After the FCTB match, FC Edmonton coach Harry Sinkgraven met with NASL officials to discuss Jonke’s suspension.

Tuesday, news came that Jonke would be getting a two-match, not a three-match, ban. One game has already been served. And the word on the initial three-game ban was not something that the NASL had made official.

“The league feels that the unusually reckless nature of Jonke’s challenge justifies this additional suspension (of one game),” said commissioner David Downs in a statement. “We took several factors into account in levying this challenge. These include the rashness of the challenge, the speed of the collision and the late timing of the foul. We strongly feel an attacking player has the right to explot space on the pitch without the fear of a violent and potentially injurious challenge.”

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