No doubt there is still pain from Perth Glory’s loss to Brisbane Roar and the nature in which they lost such an important game, but hopefully as the dust starts to settle fans will begin to look at it in a more balanced light.
Yes, the one thing it most definitely proves is that FIFA need to move into the modern era with a video referral system. Referee Jarred Gillet had to make a decision on what he saw in a split second, not by pouring over television replays, and sometimes that is forgotten. He made what he thought was the right decision in that moment. As he has done all season, hence why he was awarded the honour of refereeing the Grand Final.
What did not help him making that decision was the way in which Brisbane striker Besart Berisha went to ground. In football parlance, he milked the decision.
One thing that has not been raised during this issue is the experienced Liam Miller’s role. All season we have had rammed down our throat what a seasoned professional he is – and he proved a great signing once they worked out where to play him – having played with Celtic and Manchester United. That being the case what is an experienced player doing going to ground in the penalty box at such a crucial time? He gave Berisha the opportunity to showcase his theatrics by doing so. In fact it also looked as if he did make very gentle contact with the striker.
Who can forget Lucas Neill at the 2006 FIFA World Cup going to ground in the Australian penalty area in the final minute and Fabio Grosso falling over dramatically and winning a penalty that ultimately gifted Italy the game, and they too went on to win the World Cup. Australia Coach Guus Hiddink, told the players not to go to ground in the box, as this was likely to happen.
Sadly as long as players go to ground in the penalty area, experienced strikers will always look for ways to convince referees that they have been impeded by the prostrate player. Just as Lucas Neill should have known better, so too should Liam Miller; but that is easy for us spectators to say, we have not played 90 minutes of high tension football, but it is their profession.
It does not make it right, we agree. Our suggestion would be that if we do not have video referral then the game’s administrators should be able to view replays of the game and any clear incident of diving would see the diving player issued and automatic three game suspension. That may sound harsh, but it needs a strong penalty so that coaches start telling players not to dive, as they will be without them for three games, which could prove crucial. It would also help referees a great deal, who often unfairly cop criticism for a player’s blatant cheating.
Sadly nothing will change the situation, and to be honest if every player in the Perth Glory squad this season, or any squad in the A league for that matter could put their hand up and say that none of their players had milked the odd decision over the season then they have the right to complain. All teams do it. It was just a shame that in a showcase game, with so much at stake, the game was decided in such a way.