Football Federation Australia have admitted failure in the VAR technology that awarded Melbourne Victory their one and only goal against the Newcastle Jets in Saturday night’s A-League grand final at McDonald Jones Stadium.
FFA conducted a review into the goal decision and the Video Assistant Referee did not have access to the camera views which would have enabled him to make an offside ruling.
The Jets lost the decider 1-0 after conceding in the ninth minute. Kosta Barbarouses was credited with the goal. It came on the back of a free kick where up to three Victory players appeared to be offside.
In a statement released on Sunday morning, FFA head of A-League Greg O’Rourke said that according to the technology partner Hawkeye, the capture software that uploads the broadcast feed into the VAR system was partially lost 30 seconds before Victory’s goal due to a malfunction of software.
Furthermore it was not until some minutes after the goal that this was restored, too late to change the decision on the goal as the game had restarted. Under VAR regulations, where there is no clear evidence to the contrary, the on field decision – in this case allowing the goal – stands. The camera feed to broadcaster’s FOX SPORTS, which is routed separately, was not affected.
“We are extremely disappointed at this failure of the VAR technology,” O’Rourke said.
“And we understand the disappointment and frustration of the Newcastle Jets, their fans and indeed all football fans.
“VAR was introduced here and in other parts of the world as a technology based solution to correct the human errors that inevitably are made from time to time when officials are making judgements in split seconds.
“On this occasion the technology itself failed and the broadcast angles required were unavailable. We are working with Hawkeye to thoroughly understand why it did and what can be done to prevent this happening again.
“Whilst we understand that this happened only once this season it was at a most critical time. All parties desire the technology to be failure proof and that is what we will be striving for.”
“This is important not just for the Hyundai A-League but for other leagues around the world and for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia at which VAR will be used for the first time.”