SYDNEY, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Australia's soccer league was hit by its latest major controversy over video assistant referee (VAR) use, following an important weekend match that saw one of the coaches sent off for dissenting a decision that also left many fans fuming, according to local media.
Sydney FC beat Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2-0 in the A-League's first Sydney Derby of the season on Saturday night in the New South Wales state capital, with a VAR review striking off a much-needed goal by the losing side an hour into the game, the Nine's Wide World of Sports channel reported.
Wanderers coach Markus Babbel "ripped off his jacket before hurling expletives at match referee Chris Beathe" for the decision that cited the fouling of a Sydney FC player in the goal leadup and he was sent off for his dissent, according to the channel.
The move saw many soccer fans and former players turning to social media to vent their frustration at the VAR system since it was introduced last season.
VAR use involves video footage to help review referee decisions. The A-League lays claim to being the first domestic league of its kind to adopt the technology, which has drawn criticism for issues such as time-consuming decisions that disrupt the flow of play as well as confusing and contentious outcomes due to subjective calls, according to local reports.
"It's becoming such a distraction, such a farce, that it is turning people off the game," the channel quoted former national goalkeeper Mark Bosnich as saying about the latest VAR incident. Sydney FC's weekend win means they have now lost only one of their past 15 matches against their bitter rivals, reported the channel.
Just a week ago, a contentious VAR penalty decision was made in an A-League Melbourne Derby match in the Victoria state capital, marring the Melbourne City FC win over Melbourne Victory FC.