Wellington midfielder Alex Rufer will miss the Phoenix's next match against the Jets on January 24 at WIN Stadium after copping a one-game suspension.
Rufer was handed a controversial red card in the second half of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Macarthur FC in Campbelltown, after he allegedly lashed out at opponent Denis Genreau. The referee originally awarded Rufer a yellow card, but that decision was changed to red following a VAR review.
The A-League's Match Review Panel met on Monday to discuss the incident. On Tuesday morning, the MRP announced they were downgrading the incident from "assault on a player" to "serious unsporting conduct", which carries a mandatory one-match suspension.
The Wollongong-based Phoenix have accepted the ban and will not appeal.
"While disappointed that the red card was issued in the first place, I think this result is the best that we could have expected," Phoenix general manager David Dome said.
"The downgrading of the offence by the Match Review Panel is a common-sense approach and the MRP must be congratulated on this action.
"We will now move on and prepare for our home match on January 24 against Newcastle Jets."
On Monday, Rufer's teammate David Ball said he was disappointed with the red card decision.
"In my opinion, I don't think it was a red card. Rufer's got his eyes closed when he's gone down. If anything, at the time of the game, I felt like it was a foul on 'Rufs'," the striker said.
"We were all obviously disappointed with the sending off, but I think the lads can be proud of the way we dug in for the last 30 minutes and we got a result that we should have come away with three points with.
"As a group, we worked very hard for that point in the end."