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Jan, 2, 2009

Farina accuses refs of double standards

Queensland Roar coach Frank Farina has accused A-League referees of double standards, believing Melbourne were lucky not to have been reduced to 10 men in Friday night's clash at Telstra Dome.

The Victory won 2-1, all three goals coming in the second half, including a gem of a header from Melbourne defender Rody Vargas while facing away from goal.

But Farina said Vargas should have been sent off in the 18th minute for a two-footed tackle on Massimo Murdocca which drew a yellow card from referee Peter O'Leary.

The Victory veteran has a reputation as one of the league's nice guys and Farina was adamant that Queensland hardman Danny Tiatto would have been dealt with differently for the same offence.

"It didn't look good, it looked double foot over the ball," Farina said.

"If that was Danny Tiatto as long as my backside points to the ground he would have got a red card."

Farina said double-footed tackles needed to be severely punished because "they can break players' legs and put their careers on the line."

The match was nearly not played at all, with O'Leary concerned the surface was unsafe after a huge New Year's Eve dance party was held at Telstra Dome two nights earlier.

Only the intervention of the two coaches meant the game went ahead.

"It's not ideal but that's the way it is and we can sit around and moan all we like, bag the shit out of people or try to bash people up over it, but the reality is it wasn't that bad in terms to play on," Farina said.

Roar player Mitchell Nichols said the ground was "bumpy and slippery" in areas and pieces of metal and other debris were picked up beforehand.

But he said the Roar's home ground, Suncorp Stadium, had similar issues after a concert earlier this season.'

Vargas said the surface was unacceptable for a top-class stadium.

"If you can imagine there was 40,000 people at a rave party a day before we have to play on it, so you can imagine what was on the field," he said.

"I'm not quite sure what was on there but it surely wasn't grass."

Victory coach Ernie Merrick was also unhappy, but expected it to be up to scratch by Tuesday's crucial match against Adelaide United.

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