VAR-cical! - FFA says technical error behind offside opener in Grand Final
Melbourne Victory's A-League Grand Final triumph has been overshadowed by a VAR error after Football Federation Australia (FFA) revealed a major technical failure meant the video assistant referee could not rule on the offside opener against Newcastle Jets.
Victory claimed a record-breaking fourth championship thanks to Saturday's 1-0 win over the Jets in Newcastle, however Kevin Muscat's side benefited a controversial offside decision.
Kosta Barbarouses's ninth-minute goal proved to be the match winner, despite Victory defender James Donachie being in an offside position when he headed Leroy George's deep free-kick back across goal as the former drilled the loose ball into the net.
VAR - centre of controversy throughout the Australian season - did not intervene, even though replays clearly showed Donachie strayed offside as George delivered his set-piece at McDonald Jones Stadium.
And Sunday, the FFA sensationally admitted the vision feed supplied to VAR had crashed 30 seconds before Victory's goal.
"We are extremely disappointed at this failure of the VAR technology," FFA's Head of the A-League Greg O'Rourke said, "And we understand the disappointment and frustration of the Newcastle Jets, their fans and indeed all football fans.
"VAR was introduced here and in other parts of the world as a technology based solution to correct the human errors that inevitably are made from time to time when officials are making judgements in split seconds.
"On this occasion the technology itself failed and the broadcast angles required were unavailable. We are working with Hawkeye to thoroughly understand why it did and what can be done to prevent this happening again.
"Whilst we understand that this happened only once this season it was at a most critical time. All parties desire the technology to be failure proof and that is what we will be striving for."
"This is important not just for the Hyundai A-League but for other leagues around the world and for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia at which VAR will be used for the first time."