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Aussie coach calls for VAR appeals after A-League blunder

Victory beat Jets with a contentious goal after a breakdown in video technology

Image Credit: AP
Australia’s coach Bert van Marwijk poses for a photo in Sydney yesterday. The coach has named 32 players as part of his preliminary squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Gulf News

Sydney: Australia coach Bert van Marwijk suggested a refinement of the controversial VAR technology on Monday to allow teams to consult the video referee after a software glitch marred the A-League final.

Melbourne Victory beat the Newcastle Jets 1-0 to clinch the domestic title with a contentious goal after a breakdown in the video technology, which will be used at the upcoming World Cup in Russia.

The goal was allowed to stand after a technical issue meant that the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) did not have access to camera views which would have shown a clear offside.

Technology partner Hawk-Eye said the capture software that uploads the broadcast feed into the VAR system was partially lost 30 seconds before Victory’s goal.

Van Marwijk was in the crowd on Sunday but would not be drawn on how he would react if the Socceroos suffered a similar fate at the World Cup.

He suggested the system could be refined where teams, like in tennis or with cricket’s decision review system, would have a set number of VAR appeals for certain decisions.

“In tennis, players themselves decide when you ask the video referee. Maybe you can think about giving both teams one or two, maybe three possibilities to ask the video ref,” the Dutchman said, at a press conference to unveil his preliminary World Cup squad.

“Maybe that’s better and more honest. Because now everybody is depending on what the referee thinks and sees.”

Football Federation Australia’s A-League head Greg O’Rourke said he was working with Hawk-Eye to understand why the system failed and what could be done to stop it happening again.

According to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Hawk-Eye is conducting an urgent review, while the A-League referees boss was expected to report the incident to world governing body FIFA.

VAR was introduced in Australia and other parts of the world as a technology-based solution to correct human errors when officials are making judgements in split seconds.

But it has been involved in a number of controversial incidents, prompting much debate ahead of its World Cup debut next month.

“FFA (Football Federation Australia) should end the VAR experiment now,” read the headline of a column in The Australian.

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