Okon loses his mind over VAR controversy


Incensed Central Coast coach Paul Okon has savaged the video assistant referee for turning fans off football and pledged to appeal red cards dealt to Wout Brama and Jake McGing.

Both Okon and the Mariners' home crowd exploded in Saturday night's 2-0 loss to Western Sydney, when two second-half yellow cards to Brama and McGing were upgraded to reds following VAR reviews.

The McGing incident in particular was a mystery, his largely innocuous 78th-minute challenge on Kearyn Baccus met with a caution and then, after intervention from upstairs, inexplicably judged to be a harsher offence.

In slow motion, Brama's 62nd-minute from-behind tackle on Roly Bonevacia appeared to have grounds for dismissal, though Okon felt it was not clear enough to fall within the VAR's jurisdiction of a "clear and obvious error".

"If you came to this game tonight and you left here no longer in love with football, who could blame you?" Okon said.

"I think it's probably what everyone is talking about and that's not the reason why people are turning up watching - it's not why we turn up to play and coach.

"Before it wasn't there and everyone was for it, but if you're going to get it wrong consistently."

Okon lamented he still didn't understand the VAR's "grey area" and argued Raul Llorente's yellow-card tackle on McGing was more violent than either of his players'.

Okon was fuming. Image: Fox Sports

"I just don't understand it," he said.

"If both challenges were violent I think we would have seen protests from the Wanderers players or the Wanderers bench ... there was no reaction. The reaction came from the gentlemen sitting upstairs.

"If you're going to send off players for those two challenges you'd be sending off players every minute."

Inconsistencies with the on-trial VAR and the lengthy time of some reviews have been major talking points this season.

The Mariners must now navigate uncharted territory in appealing not just a referee decision, but a VAR review.

"The real upsetting thing is we lose these two players for our next game which is totally unfair," Okon said.

"Hopefully FFA will review it and admit they weren't sending offs, and allow the two players to play in our next game away to Adelaide.

"We will (appeal it), certainly. It's within our rights to do that. Hopefully people who hold the power will bring it to justice."