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Spurs on the road to nowhere

Tottenham 53 minutes ago
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Apr 23, 2012

Penalty call was right: A-League ref boss

A-League referees boss Mark Shield has thrown his support behind under-fire whistleblower Jarred Gillett, saying he was correct to award a controversial late penalty to Brisbane Roar in Sunday's grand final.

Debate continued to rage on Monday over Gillett's awarding of a spot kick to striker Besart Berisha at Suncorp Stadium, which allowed the Roar to steal a 2-1 win over Perth and claim back-to-back titles.

Glory players and staff claimed they had been robbed by the decision, claiming there was no, or minimal, contact from midfielder Liam Miller, but Shield on Monday praised Gillett for making the call "without fear or favour".

Shield also defended the appointment of Gillett for the decider, despite the fact he is from Brisbane and his partner works in the Roar's media department.

Shield said Gillett's officiating had been outstanding all season and praised his performance in the grand final.

"His general decision making was excellent, player management and game control, exemplary, and in my view he showed a great example for aspiring referees," Shield said on Monday.

"... Referees don't mind criticism on individual decisions but linking that debate to previous matches, the state in which the referee resides or matters to do with his personal life are out of order."

Asked whether he would have given the penalty, Shield said:

"My very first instinct was (it was a) penalty at the time ... Like everyone else, I've had a look the replay and there's some inconclusive angles but there's one particular angle that shows, in my view, that there was enough contact to warrant a penalty given."

It is not the first refereeing controversy of the finals series, with Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold angered by several decisions in recent weeks.

Shield acknowledged officials had erred with some offside calls but described the overall standard of refereeing "exceptionally good".

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