Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick was apoplectic following Friday night’s controversial draw with Western Sydney Wanderers and the contentious decisions that shaped the result.

The Scotsman has previously stated his support for the VAR but it’s his comments labelling referee Peter Green’s performance as “disgraceful” and questioning if it is him making decisions or simply waiting for the review system to do that for him that will likely see Merrick in hot water with the FFA.

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To censor Merrick and Adelaide United’s Marco Kurz who made similar criticisms about refereeing performances is a strange message for the FFA to send especially when so many concur with the views the coaches expressed.

It’s as if Australian football’s governing body want fans and clubs alike to live in some constant twilight zone where truth can be obvious and widely shared but taboo at the same time.

The FFA end up looking out of touch, overtly controlling and ultimately sanctions like the ones anticipated for Merrick and Kurz will result in the game becoming sterile.

That seems to be okay with the FFA though. The way they have dealt with and restricted active support has shown that they would prefer fans to turn up at the game, stay seated, clap for a goal and walk home.

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That’s not what sport and football in particular is about however.

Football is about emotion and competitiveness and when that’s taken out of the game through unnecessary punishments and restrictions you end up with a bland product that ultimately drives fans away.

The FFA will come out with a slick statement about bringing the game into disrepute but there will be no comment on their thoughts about how the contentious decisions are handled.

No one can reasonably expect a referee to get every decision right which is why the VAR was introduced but it’s the constant ignorance of how poorly the system has been implemented that leads to the frustrations we saw over the weekend.

There are of course limits to what can reasonably be said about the performance of someone else but if it gets this restrictive then why bother even having a press conference?

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The media talks to staff and players to try and peel back the curtains and get a glimpse of what they’re really thinking; what’s really going on behind the shiny veneer put up by media managers.

Let’s make sure that we hold coaches to account for what they say and how they act but don’t gag or punish them for how they honestly read a given situation.

An explanation on behalf of the FFA about the incidents on Friday and Saturday nights would be a start because without constant communication and feedback how will something like the VAR ever become truly effective?

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Living and studying in Newcastle. Pretty obsessed with football. Newcastle Jets and Chelsea FC fan