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Referee boss admits “mistakes that shouldn’t happen”

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Harald Lechner received no support from video referee Christian-Petru Ciochirca.
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No season without a referee discussion: The last two rounds of the Bundesliga were tough for the referees. After the 18th round a week ago, the Bundesliga had admitted three gross misjudgments. Last weekend it was a curious LASK penalty against Lustenau that got people excited. Referee boss Robert Sedlacek saw “mistakes that shouldn’t have happened”. The affected Lustenauer call for a round table.

“On the whole they are just bad, you just have to say it like that,” said Tirol defender Raffael Behounek on Sunday about Austria’s referees. Christian Ilzer defended the men on the pitch: “The referees have been let down by VAR in the last few weeks,” said the Sturm Graz coach when asked about the decision in Linz. There it met Harald Lechner, Austria’s best from the referee guild. The 40-year-old said the next day that he was nibbling on his decision.

“Clear need for optimization”

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The Lustenauer saw that a protest against the rating of the game in Linz (0:1) would be hopeless. “From our point of view, however, the last few weeks have shown that there is a clear need for optimization at the VAR in Austria,” said a statement by the board signed by Bernd Bösch. In this, the Lustenauer suggested a round table of representatives of clubs and referees. The aim of the initiative is more clarity around the use of “on-field review” on the pitch, an improvement in the referee’s evaluation system and a more transparent presentation of VAR decisions to the public.

The fact that Lechner did not go to the VAR umbrella in Linz was even more surprising than his penalty whistle. There, like that Sedlacek, with Christian-Petru Ciochirca as VAR, a man with good credentials was also at work in this position. “He is also asked by UEFA and used as a VAR in Europa League games or international matches. He is not someone who cannot do it,” said the chairman of the ÖFB referee committee. He saw a cluster of blunders. The look must now go ahead: “It’s no use punishing anyone now. We can only see what we can improve.”

Inhibition threshold before going to the monitor

One point of criticism remains that the main referees receive a small deduction in their overall score in the case of an “on-field review”. This is stipulated by FIFA. “The grade can’t get better if you solve it on the second try,” said Sedlacek to the procedure. This is fundamentally not a broken leg. However, there is still an “inhibition threshold” about going to the umbrella. In this regard, it is important to point out that mistakes can happen during the referee’s courses. It is more important to iron this out with the help of the new possibilities.

The game between Wolfsberg and Rapid (1: 2) on Sunday showed that VAR makes life easier for referees. Two goals from Vienna were given after minutes of video study for possible offside positions. If such decisions are made easier by technology, however, those in disputed situations in the penalty area or foul offenses remain a matter of discretion. basic saw Sedlacek the handling of the VAR in Austria is comparatively average in Europe. “We are average. There are one and a half or two decisions per round that are questioned.”

An often demanded professionalization of refereeing in Austria Sedlacek as a difficult task. More than 15 referees would then have to do their work full-time. The question remains as to who should pay for the salaries. “Of course we would like to see a professional game, but whether that’s feasible is questionable.”

more from football Austria

Salzburg clear 4-0 winner against Lustenau after the Cup was eliminated

Ried loses 0:2 against Salzburg

No winner in the western derby: Altach and WSG parted without a goal

WSG Tirol jumped to third place after a 2-1 win at WAC

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