The Whistle: Round 2 refereeing and VAR incidents reviewed

Each week a-league.com.au will be speaking with FFA Director of Referees Ben Wilson to review some of the key refereeing and VAR incidents from the weekend’s matches.

TOTW: Check out our best XI for Round 2
HEROIC MOMENTS: How Taylor bounced back for Phoenix
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE


Ben, let’s start in Adelaide on Friday night with the incident involving Daniel Georgevski, Glen Moss and George Blackwood.

In this incident the Newcastle Jets are awarded a defensive free kick for a push in the back on Daniel Georgevski, which occurs before the contact between Glen Moss and George Blackwood. This decision is made by the on-field match officials and the VAR checks the incident and agrees with the on-field decision.

A similar incident occurred in the Melbourne Victory vs Perth Glory match with a clash between Liam Reddy and Georg Niedermeier. The referee’s decision was again checked and deemed correct by the VAR.


Saturday night saw a major talking point in the Sydney Derby.

Law 11 of FIFA Laws of the Game states “In situations where a player moving from, or standing in, an offside position is in the way of an opponent and interferes with the movement of the opponent towards the ball this is an offside offence if it impacts on the ability of the opponent to play or challenge for the ball.”

In this incident when the ball is played to Josh Risdon, Jaushua Sotirio is in an offside position. Sotirio is in the way of Michael Zullo and interferes with his movement towards the ball. It is an offside offence because it impacts on Zullo’s ability to challenge for the ball. The VAR recommends an On Field Review. The referee reviews the footage and he disallows the goal.

Although this technically is the correct decision, having listened to people in the game since Saturday night, we agree that the VAR should have a higher threshold for clear and obvious errors to get the balance right. The VAR should avoid intervening in subjective and technical decisions which are not clearly and obviously wrong and leave those decisions to the on-field match officials. The VARs have been instructed to apply this position in future.


Finally, on Sunday there was a close offside decision leading to Perth Glory’s first goal.

After being crossed into the penalty area by Jason Davidson the ball is clearly played by a Melbourne Victory defender (Terry Antonis) before falling to Joel Chianese who scores a fair goal.

The VAR checks the incident and agrees with the on-field decision.