The A-League's director of referees admits crucial mistakes were made in weekend games, but says he's satisfied with the standard of officiating.

A-League admit costly referee blunders

November 4, 2013
By Steve Larkin

The A-League concede two refereeing blunders changed the result of weekend matches but say they're satisfied with the standard of officiating.

Adelaide United and Sydney FC have the right to be particularly aggrieved after a review of contentious calls.

The A-League's director of referees, Ben Wilson, says wrong decisions happened before both Adelaide and Sydney copped goals in their separate defeats.

The mistakes were among four bloopers by referees from 10 contentious incidents which have been reviewed from weekend games.

But Wilson is content with the standard of referees, and hopes the A-League doesn't follow other sports in banning coaches and players from commenting on decisions.

"I'm happy with the standard of refereeing, on the understanding that we can still get better," Wilson told reporters on Monday.

Adelaide and Sydney suffered from wrong decisions in plays that led to them conceding goals.

United, who lost 2-1 to Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night, should have been awarded a free kick for a Wanderers handball in the chain of play which ended with the Reds conceding a Tomi Juric goal.

And Perth's match-winner in their 1-0 triumph against Sydney FC came after what Wilson said was an obvious offside call was missed.

Wilson also said Western Sydney's Jerome Polenz should have been red-carded for a second-half tackle which floored Adelaide's Awer Mabel.

Polenz got a yellow card, and Wilson admitted the Wanderers' defender should also have been sent off for a crude challenge the week prior on Sydney's Richard Garcia.

The other mistake from the weekend was the offside call against Brisbane - made from a Brisbane throw-in against Melbourne Heart - which Wilson said was an unacceptable concentration lapse.

He said the number of obvious errors was "unusually high" but said the referees were held accountable.

"Those people that perform get more matches than those people who don't perform," he said.

"They make decisions on the first and only chance they have to see the incident. Obviously if they had the benefit of multiple replays, they might make different decisions."

Sydney FC coach Frank Farina was among managers and players to vent their frustration about the refereeing standards, but Wilson hoped the league wouldn't censure such comment.

"It's an emotional game and if they feel aggrieved, I haven't got a problem with them commenting on the performance of referees - as long as they're not questioning their integrity of the referee," he said.

"I don't think we want to go down the path of not allowing people to speak on the referee performances."


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.