I don’t want this to come off like some whinging Sydney FC fan, but what happened in the FFA Cup on Tuesday night should worry every Football fan in the country. The Central Coast Mariners were gifted a Penalty in the 80th minute after a foul by Joel King. Only problem with the decision was that the fowl occurred outside the box!
Now as a Sydney FC fan I’m very aware that the perception around FC is that we are more often than not on the right end of decisions like this. But that’s not the point, the point is the horrid level of refereeing in this Country. The worst part of this decision is that the assistant referee was on the side and directly in line with the foul as it happened. Yes, it was a very tight decision, and was a tough one to decipher, but for me and a lot of people watching at home it was pretty obviously outside of the box. Like what type of mickey mouse officiating level are we being forced to settle for?
Now I’m not the biggest fan of VAR, more so because of the inconsistency we’ve seen in the decisions VAR has become involved in. Ive always been an advocate for living with the human errors Referees will make, but if we have the technology available why are we not using it, especially when it comes to the big games in the cup, surely it needs to be in place, so we avoid these issues in the future. I get that some of the smaller NPL clubs can’t afford to have the VAR technology in use during the early and qualifying rounds, but surely in the Semi Finals or even Quarter finals the FFA can afford to put it on for those games.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think the Mariners deserved the win, they had the better of the chances and looked the most likely to come away with the game winning goal. So, I don’t begrudge the Mariners for winning the game, my issue is with the officiating. It took away what could have been a proper grandstand finish or even extra time and penalties. Which, for a cup competition that really doesn’t generate any buzz would’ve been a big draw card. Instead, people are talking about a Semi-Final in our Cup domestic cup competition for all the wrong reasons.
I only hope that in Semi Final 2, which because of Covid isn’t being played until the 29th of January, that there aren’t more refereeing controversies that cloud the competition. And unfortunately, I only see the Melbourne Victory coming out as winners in that one. But it will set up an amazing final.