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Tuesday, 8 May 2018
Page: 3250

Mr CONROY (Shortland) (13:44): It has been a brilliant season for the Newcastle Jets football team; they've gone from wooden spooner to grand finalist. Unfortunately, the grand final did not go to them last Saturday night. It was a great show. We had 29,000 people at the stadium. We had big crowds watching the game from Speers Point Park and in town. Unfortunately, the spectacle of the game was ruined by the incredible incompetence of Football Federation Australia. The video assistant referee failed at a crucial time, when Melbourne was awarded a goal despite being clearly off side. The assistant referees had been told to rely on the VAR, so they didn't flag a clear off side.

After this, we had weasel words from FFA; they put out a statement admitting that they had got it wrong and that they had robbed the Newcastle Jets. They talked about the disappointment and frustration of Newcastle fans. Well, they're wrong; it's red-hot anger. This clear incompetence changed the game and altered the result. Heads must roll. People must be sacked and an asterisk must be placed against Melbourne's name in the history books as an illegitimate winner of the grand final. It's a great shame, because it was a great season by the Jets. If the FFA are serious about honouring the millions of Australians who are fans of football and the hundreds of thousands of kids who play soccer in this country, they must lift their game; it was an embarrassment.