In the closing minutes of Saturday’s match between Orlando City and the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena, Orlando City captain Kaká was issued a straight red card following a playful interaction with former teammate Aurélien Collin.
Immediately following the Video Review of the incident, several Orlando City players and Collin approached the referee to explain the friendly nature of the situation.
After much deliberation, which included conversations about the global attention this incident is receiving from fans and media alike, the Club will respect the decision made by the Video Assistant Referee, the Professional Referee Organization and Major League Soccer to avoid further unjustified consequences that may come from appealing the decision made on the field.
Though Orlando City SC fully supports MLS, PRO and the new Video Review system, the Club does not support the notion that Kaká — a role model known around the world for his upstanding character and demeanor— is guilty of violent conduct, defined as an attempt to use excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball. Moreover, we also do not believe he deliberately “struck” an opponent or any other person on the head or face with his hand or arm during the match.
Kaká has only received two straight red cards in his illustrious club career, both of them in MLS.
The Captain will accept the one-game suspension and help our Club and fans focus on the next task - the first home game in nearly a month for the Lions against a strong Eastern Conference opponent, Columbus Crew SC, at Orlando City Stadium this Saturday.