Montgomery slams referee change for finals loss to Adelaide

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Central Coast Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery has revealed he received an email from the A-Leagues at 10:30pm the night before kick-off against Adelaide United notifying him of a referee change. 

“I could not imagine a referee from Leeds refereeing a Leeds vs Manchester United match,” Montgomery said. 

“That’s something that I’m not used to.” 

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Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery was left puzzled by the A-Leagues’ decision to appoint a hometown, part-time referee for his side’s elimination final clash. 

“I received an email saying the referee has changed, and Alireza Faghani – who I think is one of the best referees in the league – will no longer referee this match,” Montgomery said. 

“And he was replaced by the only part-time referee from Adelaide (Daniel Elder).” 

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Montgomery further questioned the decision after his side conceded a “disappointing” second goal that could have been avoided. 

“We were trying to make a substitution, but for whatever reason we couldn’t bring Storm Roux on,” Montgomery said. 

“I don’t understand why we can’t put the sub on when our injured player is already 20 to 30 metres off the pitch, but I was told he wasn’t ready.  

“And instead, we concede a second goal down the right-hand side where we don’t have a player.” 

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The decision by the A-Leagues to make the referee change is puzzling, and their reasoning didn’t justify the decision. 

“We’ve got four full-time referees in the league, and there’s two games this weekend, yet we get part time referees again,” Montgomery said. 

“We asked for an explanation, and they said that he had to work next week so he couldn’t be involved in the games next week.” 

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Montgomery admitted that this refereeing change did not cost them the game, as Adelaide United were deserved winners, but the decision to appoint a hometown referee – especially in a final – has left him dumbfounded. 

Meanwhile, Adelaide United head coach Carl Veart had no issues with the change, or the quality of refereeing tonight. 

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“I don’t even know who the referee is until I walk out the tunnel for the start of the game,” Veart said. 

“But I don’t think there was any decisions tonight they could have impacted the game. I have no issues.”

Featured image credit: Robbie Szafranek

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Cameron Ottenhoff
Sport, media and communications student at Flinders University in Adelaide. I was forced to hang the boots up at a young age after discovering I'm no good at sport, so now I just talk about it instead.

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