VAR decisions explained: Hyundai A-League Round 1

The Hyundai A-League was the first elite football competition in the world to introduce video technology (VAR) late last season and throughout the Finals Series.

And the success of the system has now seen it become a permanent fixture in this season’s competition.


*Every Hyundai A-League game will have a VAR assigned.

*The VAR will view the game from a video operations room with access to up to 12 camera angles.

*If the VAR sees a clear error has been made, he will communicate that to the on-field referee.

*The on-field referee will then have the opportunity to ask for the decision to be reviewed by the VAR.

*Upon review, the decision will potentially be overturned by the referee.


The VAR system will be used by the referees to provide assistance in four (4) categories of match-changing decisions/incidents:

* Goal / no goal decisions

* Penalty / no penalty decisions

* Direct red cards (not 2nd yellow cards)

* Mistaken identity

With that in mind, we’ve decided to put the spotlight on some of the key decisions from the weekend’s action and explain how video technology was used to make a determination.

For Round 1, we look at two separate penalty incidents which had differing outcomes and gain some insight from FFA Referees coordinator Michael Bailey on why each decision was made.

Roy O'Donovan's header completed his hat-trick against his former club.
Roy O'Donovan celebrating his penalty against the Mariners.


Newcastle Jets striker Roy O’Donovan was awarded a penalty following an incident in the 9th minute with Mariners defender Alan Baro.

Baro was adjudged to have impeded the Irishman just inside the box and referee Jonathan Barreiro pointed to the spot.

The Spaniard could be seen to lift a trailing leg which appeared to clip O’Donovan as he drove inside the box.


“The video assistant referee checked this decision and confirmed that Baro carelessly fouls O’Donovan inside the penalty area,” FFA’s Referee coordinator Michael Bailey said.

“The video assistant referee correctly judges that the on field decision was not clearly wrong and does not intervene.”


In the 9th minute of the Western Sydney v Perth Glory match, Wanderers winger Jumpei Kusukami had appeals for a penalty waved away following an incident with Glory defender Jacob Poscoliero.

The Japanese attacker went to ground inside the area but the referee ruled that Poscoliero’s last-ditch tackle was legitimate and he had won the ball cleanly.


“The live decision of play on was checked by the video assistant referee who confirmed that the on-field decision was not clearly wrong because Poscoliero wins the ball when making the challenge and does not commit a foul,” Bailey said.