Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Tony Popovic.
Western Sydney Wanderers head coach Tony Popovic. BEN MACMAHON

Popovic cops fine for comments on referee

FOOTBALL: Football Australia has continued its crackdown on coaches criticising referees by fining Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic $3000 for slamming referee Jarred Gillett.

A furious Popovic said in his post-match interview Gillett missed a penalty in his side's round-six 3-0 loss to Melbourne Victory after Jason Geria appeared to foul Jumpei Kusukami in the 18-yard box.

Replays showed the young fullback missed the ball and fouled the Japanese attacker.

"If that's not a penalty, they should book him for diving,” Popovic said on Fox Sports.

Popovic also pointed to the club's record with Gillett in the middle - just one win in 11 games - suggesting "maybe it's just a coincidence”.

Head of the A-League Greg O'Rourke said any comments "direct or implied that reflect on the integrity of a referee are unacceptable”.

"It is important that all players and coaches consider their words carefully when offering their thoughts post-match,” he said.

"Respect towards match officials is not a nice thing to have, it is a fundamental of our game required at every level.”

Popovic has seven business days to appeal.

He was the second A-League coach to be fined this season for criticising referees, with Kevin Muscat having been forced to pay $5000 in October for his comments regarding Shaun Evans after the Melbourne Victory bowed out of the FFA Cup.


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