Adelaide United vs Brisbane Roar, 19th March 2017. A game that will go down in history, not because of some great goals, a great comeback, or even a huge win, but due to a controversial decision by yet another appalling referee the A-League and the FFA employ. Throughout most of this season, if not all of it, the officials seem to be grabbing more headlines than what players, staff or teams do. Once again poor refereeing was in the spotlight on Sunday afternoon as a controversial penalty was awarded to Adelaide United.
After being at the game and watching replays, even as an Adelaide United supporter, I believe Brisbane were hard done by. First of all, I am no referee, but from my point of view the incident happened very close to the linesman on the far side. Why was this linesman not consulted? He surely would have seen the incident happen! If he didn’t see what had happened he should not be allowed to officiate an A-League game ever again. To miss what almost every fan including myself saw, is unacceptable considering this is the highest domestic level of football in the country.
I was sat just behind the goals in the north stand, directly in front of where the incident happened. I myself saw Dylan McGowen grab Theo to try and stop the counter attack, which should have given as a Brisbane free-kick and a yellow card to McGowen, but what followed could have been avoided, if the referee or the linesman had been watching. The foul would have been given before Theo’s elbow, but due to their lack in concentration the foul was not given. This then lead Theo to try and struggle to free himself, alternatively leading him to elbow McGowen either on purpose or by accident. No I do not agree with Theo’s actions but this incident could have been avoided, if the officials had been doing their jobs!
In my eye, this incident was never a penalty. Yes I agree with the sending off, but McGowen should have also been cautioned and Brisbane should have been awarded a free-kick. Alternatively, if this had happened, the incident in the tunnel may have also been avoided. At the moment, we do not know the full extent of what happened in the tunnel, as it is all speculation and allegations at this time. After Sunday’s controversy I hope the FFA will look into its officials and either work with them to improve the way they control the game, with additional training or course work, or to bring in the video replay system which is being trialled at the moment. The A-League needs a lot of work, if it is to become one of the biggest and best leagues in Asia
, but until the FFA do something, it will continue to be a laughing stock to many other leagues.