May 5, 2014 – 12:46PM
Ante Covic can’t stop the Roar’s equalising goal by Besart Berisha. Photo: Getty Images
An angry Ante Covic has called Football Federation Australia to use “neutral” referees in all matches after Western Sydney were denied what he believes was a foul leading up to Brisbane’s title-clinching goal.
Less than 12 hours after the A-League’s newest club lost their second consecutive A-League grand final, Covic slammed FFA for allowing the Brisbane-born whistleblower Peter Green, who is this season’s referee of the year, to adjudicate in Sunday night’s playoff.
While Covic stopped short of accusing Green of being biased, the Wanderers goalkeeper believes referees should not be allowed to officiate in matches involving teams from their home state.
A-League referee of the year, Peter Green, hands out a yellow card Adam D’Apuzzo. Photo: Getty Images
Covic’s frustration stems from a lopsided count for fouls (32-13) and yellow cards (6-0) which went against the Wanderers, and a foul he believes should have been awarded to Matthew Spiranovic before the Roar scored their second goal.
Spiranovic fell after being challenged from behind by Matt Smith as the pair contested a corner kick taken by Thomas Broich.
“Matty himself tells me he just about got whiplash going up for that ball,” Covic said on Monday morning.
The Wanderers failed to adequately clear the ball, allowing the Roar to mount another attack and kick the decisive goal.
“[I’m] frustrated by the second goal because I believe it was a foul on Spiro in the corner beforehand that should have been blown,” Covic said.
“There’s my other qualm, how a referee that’s born and raised in Brisbane can referee a game of that importance.
“That’s something that’s got to be looked at. Where that would happen in the world where you don’t have a neutral referee is beyond me?
“There’s other referees from different states. What would it have looked like if the referee was from western Sydney?
“I’m not saying [it was] a local decision but if it’s 50-50 decisions where are you going to sway?
“They played a good game without question but six yellow cards to zero? If the hit on Matt in the corner leading up to the goal happened in their goal mouth to their player I’d like to wonder what would have happened.
“I think the FFA has got to look into that. You got to have a neutral referee, as simple as that. Take out all the guesswork. I’m not saying that’s the only reason we got done but it’s a bitter pill to swallow when things can slide in a direction.”
Source :The Sydney Morning Herald