Heart query A-League refereeing again

By Guy Hand,

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    Melbourne Heart have raised further concerns about the consistency of A-League refereeing, with sent-off striker David Williams questioning why a Brisbane Roar tackle which left him with a foot injury was not penalised.

    Williams was sent off for a studs-up tackle on Roar defender Ivan Franjic in last weekend’s 3-2 Heart win at AAMI Park – a challenge the striker admits was clumsy, probably deserved some sort of action, but was not malicious.

    However Williams and Heart coaching staff were upset by Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo’s late lunge which collected the striker as he scored the team’s opening goal.

    They were surprised that challenge, which left Williams on the ground for several minutes afterwards, wasn’t penalised in some way during the game or by the match review panel.

    Williams believes if his tackle deserved a send-off and ban, so did Theo’s.

    “There was no ball taken at all. His feet were a lot higher than mine. I’m not being petty about it, but the refs have to be consistent,” said Williams, who had never been sent off in the A-League before the weekend.

    “It was a clear tackle without the ball on myself – doesn’t matter if it’s a goalkeeper or an outfield player. If that’s not a red, I don’t see that mine should be a red.”

    Williams received an automatic one-match ban for his send-off, and hasn’t trained this week as he receives physiotherapy on a foot ligament injury which could even sideline him beyond his suspension period.

    Williams did play on with the injury until his send-off.

    “I’m feeling it now and, even if I wasn’t suspended, I’m not sure if I’d play the next game because of how my foot’s going,” he said.

    “Mine was a bit of a clumsy challenge, but (the decision) is definitely not consistent with the challenge on me when I scored the goal.”

    Williams’ comments echo those of Heart coach John Aloisi post-match about refereeing.

    Aloisi believed referee Alan Milliner and his officials lost control of the game and lacked consistency in their decision-making which confused both sets of players.

    The match featured a clearly offside goal given to the Heart among several contentious decisions.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • January 10th 2013 @ 8:40am
      brisvegas said | January 10th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      There was also the case of two yellow cards not shown to Thompson. Those sorts of inconsistencies are part of the game – annoying as all hell, but often the result of your perspective.

      The ‘offside’ decision was ludicrous, though, when you consider linesmen are usually adept at seeing a hair’s breadth between attcker and defender. I can cope with close calls being wrong, but this wasn’t close. I called it from my lounge room a couple of thousand kilometres away.

      The standard of assistant refs is abyssmal. I see aboutt half a dozen decisions a game where the linesman raises his flag for something AFTER the ref has blown his whistle. Unless they are told to do this, it smacks to me of lack of decision-making qualities. Which is probably just as well as the decisions they make are often flawed.

      • January 10th 2013 @ 12:04pm
        Nathan of Perth said | January 10th 2013 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

        “Unless they are told to do this”

        They are told to do this as a way of backing up the ref.

      • January 10th 2013 @ 2:23pm
        Bela Guttman said | January 10th 2013 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

        I’d rather see off-side not called when there’s an element of doubt, advantage should be given to the attacking team. In this case it was an error as it was offside by at least 30cm. JA is lamenting the inconsistency in the ref decisions, we all can see that, but also how his players have been unprotected by the refs’ This season Heart have lost Garuccio, still out after 6 weeks following a hack from Fabio that only received a foul, Dugandzic for the season with a broken foot after a tackle that didn’t even earn a foul, and now david williams would miss a game even without his suspension following a near identical tackle that he was red-carded for and it didn’t even attract a foul of a card of any colour. In the second half of that game Heart received no cards in the first half and 65 yellow and 1 red card in the second half. There were numerous errors from the linesmen in addition to the off-side decision, a tackle from Halloran in the box that was ignored.
        fans accept that refs are human and have to make split second decisions without the benefit of video replays, however all we ask for is some consistency.

        • January 10th 2013 @ 2:24pm
          Bela Guttman said | January 10th 2013 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

          that should read 5 yellows, not 65! The ref wasn’t that bad:)

    • January 10th 2013 @ 9:15am
      pete4 said | January 10th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      I thought Theo’s challenge on Williams when he scored was very strong. Theo was lucky it when in otherwise he probably would have got sent off

    • January 10th 2013 @ 9:29am
      Roarsome said | January 10th 2013 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      I think the challenge would have resulted in a penalty had the goal not been scored, it certainly wasn’t worth a red and a pen. The advantage was taken with the goal being scored, end of story.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

      • January 10th 2013 @ 12:03pm
        Nathan of Perth said | January 10th 2013 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

        Always good to wait in those circumstances. Have even done it myself – had a kid who was very rudely bundled over on a break in the box could have blown for PK+RC but held off to see if the kid’s last touch would lead anywhere – sure enough, the cutback found an unmarked team mate who very coolly finished.

        No penalty kick lottery, no massive animosity over a red card, everyone remembers the goal, not the refereeing, best outcome for all concerned.

        • January 10th 2013 @ 2:27pm
          Bela Guttman said | January 10th 2013 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

          Nathan I take your point, and favour letting the game flow including situations you describe where playing advantage results in ‘natural justice’. However it then may lead to situations like this where 1 tackle is effectively unpunished, an identical tackle earns a straight red card.

    • January 10th 2013 @ 11:24am
      clayts said | January 10th 2013 @ 11:24am | ! Report

      When at the game I remember my girlfriend saying to me during the second half, “the referee has lost control of this game at the moment.” Fair comment I thought, at the time. Then JA comes out and says exactly the same thing, using those exact words.

      The Theo one I thought would have been a penalty and probably a yellow if the goal hadn’t gone in. However, I don’t like this kind of grey rule in football. Should it matter if the ball went over the goal line? Not that we should be looking at the consequence of the tackle before deciding what penalty to award, but a red card action is a red card action in my book. It shouldn’t matter if a penalty was awarded or whether a goal was scored or not. If a defender punches a striker off the ball inside the box, but a goal is scored, do we assume “advantage was given” and it’s “end of story?”

      The other one that annoys me is when a defender shepards the ball over the by line for a goal kick. Most times running way off their line to impede the other player from making a play at the ball and in no way attempting to make a play at the ball themselves. Do this anywhere else on the pitch and it would be a foul. You should be allowed to protect the ball but not by playing the man.

      • January 10th 2013 @ 11:58am
        Nathan of Perth said | January 10th 2013 @ 11:58am | ! Report

        “Then JA comes out and says exactly the same thing, using those exact words.”

        Clearly evidence that there is something suspicious going on between your girlfriend and JA! Sharp Dressed Man, eh?

    • January 10th 2013 @ 4:36pm
      The Bear said | January 10th 2013 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

      JA is merely raising the point that spectators have been saying all season long. The reffing is truly abysmal this season.

    • Roar Guru

      January 10th 2013 @ 10:10pm
      Peter Wilson said | January 10th 2013 @ 10:10pm | ! Report

      Refereeing has been a let down in an otherwise creditable A-League season so far.

      What is the solution?
      How do you make them more consistent – even in the same game.

      Experimenting with first time unknown A-League referees, maybe an investment in the future of Australian refereeing.

      • January 11th 2013 @ 1:17am
        Nathan of Perth said | January 11th 2013 @ 1:17am | ! Report

        Hard work, opportunities, years.

        You can’t rush a refereeing department – there is no marquee you can sign.

        • January 11th 2013 @ 10:31am
          Bela Guttman said | January 11th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

          That’s not a bad idea actually, why not import some marquee refs’ to work with and mentor and inspire the local refs?’

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