The Whistle: Round 3 refereeing and VAR incidents explained

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.

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Ben, there were a couple of handball decisions across the weekend, let’s start with the penalty awarded in Wellington.  


In this incident the Wanderers were awarded a penalty for a handball offence against Andrew Durante. This was the correct interpretation because when Durante turns away from the shot he makes himself bigger by extending his arm into an unnatural position away from his body which then makes contact with the ball. The VAR checked the incident and agreed with the on-field decision.

And the decision not to award a penalty for the Central Coast Mariners.


This was a similar to the incident in Wellington but on this occasion the referee did not award a penalty kick. The referee had a clear view and felt that that it was a non-deliberate action.

The VAR correctly determined that this incident did not meet the threshold for VAR involvement. This follows the instruction to VARs to avoid intervening in subjective and technical decisions which are not clearly and obviously wrong and leave those decisions to the on-field officials.

Melbourne Victory had a goal disallowed for offside in their match against the Jets.


A very close but correct decision from the Assistant Referee to flag Kosta Barbarouses for offside in the 49th minute. As with all goal situations the VAR checked the decision and agreed that Barbarouses was in an offside position when the ball was played.

And finally, can you talk us through the penalty and red card in Perth.


In the 82nd minute in Perth, Perth defender Tomislav Mrcela fouled Adam Taggart in the penalty area. Even though the foul was in the penalty area, as this was a non-football challenge (I.e. pushing) the referee correctly sent Mrcela from the field for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity.