‘Disgraceful’ VAR robs Jets of all three points

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Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick was absolutely livid following the controversial refereeing decisions made during Friday night’s 2-2 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers.

The VAR was called into action three times during the tightly fought contest and Merrick was rightfully furious considering that two of those decisions ultimately cost the Jets all three points.

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Any support Merrick had for the system quickly diminished after Nikolai Topor-Stanley copped a penalty for a seemingly unsubstantial handball only for Jason Hoffman to be denied his headed goal not long after.

“I’ve been a fan of the VAR until today, I just couldn’t believe the decisions that were being made,” Merrick said post match.

“How do you get away with a ricocheting ball that hits your arm and doesn’t fall to your advantage?

“In the second half I was more worried about the referring decisions than I was about the opposition.”

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The decision against Topor-Stanley could not have come at a worse time for the Jets. They entered the second half with far more sharpness and urgency than their sluggish opening and were instantly rewarded with an immaculate strike from Dimitri Petratos.

That momentum came to a grinding halt when the penalty was awarded and Merrick labelled VAR Strebe Delovski and referee Peter Green as ‘disgraceful’ in the way they they dawdled over the process and the decision that followed.

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“The second penalty was just a ricochet off an arm from a meter, how do you avoid that? Just let the game go.” He said.

“I’ve never been involved in such a game; it was just so disappointing.

“There was a lot of time wasted, we were trying to avoid that, that’s really the first time I’ve come across this in our twenty matches,

“Boy did they drag things out.”

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Merrick was equally disappointed when Delovski ruled out Hoffman’s header which would have almost certainly sealed a win.

Hoffman and Vedran Janjetovic made contact whilst contending for a cross, the two barely collided as the keeper spilled the ball back into his own net however after scrutinisation from the VAR Hoffman copped the short end of the stick.

“There’s no way that Jason threw his arms across the goalkeeper’s arms,” he said.

“He went for the ball and the goalkeeper threw the ball in the net and it was a goal.”

The Jets will remain in second place regardless of how Melbourne City perform this round however Merrick  was rueing the points lost over a team three spots below.

“Nothing’s ever fair in sport, certainly not in football.”

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Rowan McClatchey
Rowan McClatchey
Bachelor of Journalism student from the University of Wollongong, covering Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2017/18 season.

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