Football Australia complete review of refereeing decisions

Football Australia’s referee department has reviewed the decisions from last night’s Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s 2021/22 Round 8 fixture between Melbourne City FC and Central Coast Mariners FC.

During the match, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR)recommended an on-field review for two penalty area incidents.

The first instance was for a penalty kick awarded for a tripping offence by Central Coast Mariners defender Kye Rowles during additional time in the first half (45+3’).

The second incident was for the non-awarding of a penalty kick following a tripping offence in the 87th minute after a challenge by Melbourne City attacker Mathew Leckie on Central Coast defender Lewis Miller. 

For both incidents, the VAR was correct in advising the Referee on-field to undertake an on-field review. 

For the first instance, the challenge from Rowles was initially outside the penalty area with a secondary contact inside the penalty area. The referee awarded the penalty kick because of the secondary contact inside the penalty area. From review of the incident the referee department has determined that the secondary contact was negligible contact and therefore the correct restartshould be for the offence committed outside the penalty area. 

The second incident the referee interpreted the contact asnegligible on-field and as a result the VAR recommended the review. From the referee department review, the defender has fouled the attacking player by stepping on the foot. Hence a penalty should be awarded for this type of contact.

Football Australia’s referee department will continue to review the incidents from each A-Leagues match and provide feedback and coaching to the Match Officials panel. Football Australia will continue to work with the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) to ensure that the balance between accuracy and timeliness of decisions is achieved in the A-Leagues. 

Australia’s Match Officials play a central role in the A-Leaguesand professional football in Australia. Like the players, coaches, and officials that compete in the competitions, Australia’s Match Officials are committed to ongoing development and reflection in order to help the game advance and Leagues to improve.