Aussies to stick with VAR trials despite another weekend of controversy

December 19 – Football Federation Australia says it will continue to experiment with video technology in the A-League despite a series of suspect decisions.

Head of the A-League, Greg O’Rourke, refused to suspend the season-long trial of video assistant referees (VARs)  after delays and errors plagued another weekend of games and threw yet another spanner in the works in terms of the system’s global introduction before the World Cup.

Central Coast Mariners had two players sent off in their 2-0 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers at the weekend when the referee upgraded yellow cards to reds. Fans stormed out of Central Coast Stadium in disgust and a member of the Mariners coaching staff was sent off for throwing a water bottle in protest.

It was the third game of the weekend overshadowed by the use of the video assistant referee but O’Rourke said the system needed tweaking rather than scrapping altogether.

“The VAR is set to be introduced in more global leagues around the world next year and it is a case of getting it right rather than walking away from the trial. Most other Australian sports have been using technology and referees and umpires in the stands or central hubs for many years and have taken time to improve the systems,” O’Rourke said.

“We are rightfully impatient as a sport to see this perfected much quicker and that is our aim as well. We will make some more changes to the way we approach the use of VAR.”

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