Stallion Laguna head coach Ernest Nierras has underscored the need to improve the quality of referees in the Philippines Football League (PFL).
“The federation has to do something about improving our officials. You cannot change the call of the whistle, but if they make mistakes as not knowing that the player is coming from an offside position then we have a major problem,” he said.
Nierras made his sentiments known during the post-match press conference after Ceres Negros beat Stallion Laguna, 2-nil, with a brace from OJ Porteria at the Panaad Stadium on Wednesday night.
“The referee played better,” he quipped when asked about the outcome of the match.
Nierras, former head coach of the Philippine women’s national football team, said such kind of officiating takes away the quality of the match.
“You have two teams giving it their all, but when we have incidents where calls would change the nature of the game then I think it’s about time we also introduce VAR (video assistant referee) to our league to help the referees because obviously, they’re having a hard time. They’re being swayed,” he said.
The VAR system is being used for the first time in the ongoing World Cup in Russia to review certain calls made by the main referee by watching video replays.
“You lose because the other team plays better than you so be it, but the referee should not determine the outcome of the match,” Nierras said.
He pointed out that three of his players will be suspended in the next match against Ceres on Sunday night after they were booked for second yellow cards in the last game.
“I don’t know who the PFL will assign…But even if it will be the same referees, I’m not going to complain. What I’m trying to say, to point out is that the PFL has to do something to help them. They cannot help themselves, the technical side comes from the federation,” Nierras added.
Ceres Negros and Stallion Laguna are among the six teams playing in the PFL along with Kaya FC Iloilo, Davao Aguilas, JPV Marikina and Global Cebu.
Reigning champion Ceres FC is at the top of the standings with 38 points. PNA