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VAR ruling on Roar 'goal' given OK by refs' boss

Massimo Maccarone (left) had a goal disallowed by VAR against Newcastle on Sunday.
Massimo Maccarone (left) had a goal disallowed by VAR against Newcastle on Sunday. DAN PELED

REFEREES' boss Ben Wilson has backed the video ruling that denied Brisbane Roar an equaliser in their 2-1 weekend loss to Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium.

Roar coach John Aloisi was left confused by the Video Assistant Referee system after Massimo Maccarone had a goal disallowed because he was offside earlier in the build-up.

The assistant referee did not flag for offside as the Italian striker received the ball from Roar skipper Matt McKay.

Maccarone then played the ball backwards to teammate Fahid Ben Khalfallah, who quickly returned to the ball to the veteran attacker, who cut in between two Jets defenders before shooting past goalkeeper Jack Duncan.

The crowd celebrated, but joy soon turned to anger when referee Matthew Conger agreed with VAR Peter Green that Maccarone was offside when receiving the ball from McKay, and awarded the Jets a free-kick.

Aloisi said the goal should have stood because Maccarone had passed the ball backwards, and the VAR could only be applied to rule on offside in instances where the ball was going forwards.

But Football Federation Australia director of referees Wilson said it didn't matter which direction the ball went if the player was offside during the "attacking phase possession".

"If the ball had of gone out for a throw after Maccarone was offside, and then the Roar had gone on to score, the goal would have stood," Wilson said.

"But the goal came from the same attacking phase. It doesn't matter if it would have happened 20 passes or a minute earlier, the VAR can go back to rule on it if it's the same attacking phase."

Wilson admitted there had been some "confusion" between Conger and Green that required Conger to have a look at the footage of the incident on the sideline.

"It added a minute to the process that we could have avoided," Wilson said.

"But ... anytime we can support the referee to get a match-changing decision correct, it's a good thing."

Aloisi also questioned why the VAR was not used when Jets substitute Wayne Brown was only awarded a yellow card, not a red one, for a dangerous, studs-up tackle on Roar defender Avraam Papadopoulos.

But Wilson said that decision was not a "clear error", so it could not be over-ruled by the VAR.

"We don't want to become like rugby league and review every decision," he said.

A-League boss Greg O'Rourke has been delighted with the VAR system since its introduction late last season.

"People were complaining before the VAR before wrong decisions were being made, and now that the right decisions are being made, people are still complaining," O'Rourke said.

Topics:  a-league 2017 brisbane roar john aloisi massimo maccarone

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