It will happen, sooner rather than later
I was having a text message debate with SB, and he suggested that I take up the issue. As I mentioned earlier, we have a different stance on this and he said that he was writing on this too. I know he is going to bring up one point that is different from the usual suspects. I will come to that in a minute. Day in and day out, I hear Blatter, Platini and the rest of the posse banging on about how video technology kills the momentum of the game and the sort. On the other hand my friend SB has a slightly different argument and I quote him: “It makes the officials too dependent on technology”. I still don’t get what that means. But I will leave that to him.
For me, it’s simple. It saves costs and titles. I say costs because UEFA and the fans (who I assume the costs are passed on to) can save some money by not putting two extra linesmen near the posts.
How many times do we need to see titles go the other way? Poor refereeing decisions are forgivable, but doing nothing about it is certainly not. Referees are not Jedi and things will go past them because they are human and human error can be excused.
Many instances come to my mind. Didier Drogba vs Manchester United (wrongly flagged onside, and Chelsea went on to win the title), Steven Gerrard vs Arsenal (dived, won the penalty and I am not certain but I think Liverpool went on to win the Champion’s League), Wayne Rooney vs Arsenal (dived, won the penalty and United won the game), Lee Bowyer vs Arsenal (wrongly flagged offside, clean through on goal and brought down by Chezzer) and most recently Robin van Persie vs Barcelona (shown the red, Barca went ahead and won the game).
I am not by any means stating that the team that was undone by inept refereeing would have won the game or things of the sort, but it seriously changes the course of the game. This inconsistency has been damaging and that exacerbates the situation when the replay is shown on the big screen. The most blatant example that comes to me was the Didier Drogba goal at Old Trafford. The offside was as clear as day. The goal stood. Drogba went and celebrated towards the South and East stands (I think) and the celebrations lasted. This completely puts to bed the whole issue of “losing momentum” during a game because the momentum is killed anyway. Instead challenge the decision, look at the big screen and everyone is happy. My friend SB has other views and I will discuss those with him in the comments. Please do check below this post for more rants.
Here is where I stand. Stick video technology in there and give each team three challenges. The UEFA and the English F.A. earn millions of pounds each year. I am assuming the research goes into the use of snoods and throwing in extra linesmen. I am not going to sit and iron out rules and how one can go about laying the infrastructure for video replay challenges. Tennis introduced that in 2006, I reckon and this is because they realised the importance of being idle (yes SB and DJ, don’t be stating the obvious now!). My job is to look at macroeconomic conditions and once in a while make private equity investments. But hey, if the F.A. come knocking at my door and pay me good money I would be happy to indulge them.
I fully support Arsene Wenger’s call for the use of technology. It just makes life so much simpler and players and fans alike won’t feel undone. I am sorry this post has come to an abrupt end but I have got to run Mrs. Blogs, Ms. Cash Flows beckons. See you in the comments.
P.S.: Starting this post onwards, I will try and include Star Wars analogies in everything I write. And the suggestion box is not open. Luke! It’s a trap!