Referees banished to sidelines after howlers put standards under scrutiny Print E-mail
Written by Dominic Bossi, SMH   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 14:27

The two referees in charge of last week's A-League preliminary finals have been dropped for this weekend's semi-final matches after a series of blunders marred the fixtures.

Jarred Gillett and Chris Beath will be watching from the sidelines this weekend after an erroneous penalty decision cost Perth Glory a win against Melbourne Victory and several dangerous challenges were ignored in Brisbane Roar's defeat of Adelaide.

A-League chief executive Damien de Bohun confirmed that the two referees would be held accountable for their performance but have not been ruled out of officiating the league's showcase event in a fortnight.

Gillett will be dropped from this weekend's fixtures after awarding Melbourne Victory a contentious late penalty and sending off Glory defender Steve Pantelidis.

"There's no doubt, with all the footage available, that the Melbourne Victory player did control the ball with his arm and if the referee did have all that information available, then he would've called it," de Bohun said.

Beath's failure to reach for his back pocket in response to a wild tackle by Brisbane's Stef Nijland and another by Adelaide striker Tomi Juric led him to be dropped.

The standard of refereeing has come under scrutiny from the FFA and de Bohun said the governing body would hold a performance review at the end of the season. He is concerned that referee performance is not rising at the same rate as playing standards and will propose the idea of professionalising referees and goal-line umpires.

"We will turn over every stone to make sure they are operating at the highest level," de Bohun said. "My very clear position is that they're improving. I guess the question is 'are they improving at the same rate as the playing standard and everything else?'"

Meanwhile, the FFA will not take action against Perth Glory owner Tony Sage after he suggested that Gillett should not be allowed to officiate a game in Perth again due to the public anger towards him.

Sage said it would be "unsafe" to allow Gillett to oversee a Perth home game as his latest blunder follows a controversial penalty decision against the Glory in last year's A-League grand final."