The FA Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Chelsea yesterday is just another example of why the game needs video referees.
Football is broadcasted in more countries and more forms around the world than ever before, yet we’re not allowed to draw on the obvious benefits of having an official sat in an office somewhere in a stadium watching the game on monitors.
That official could easily be linked up to the referee out in the middle, relaying simple instructions based on what he sees from the video which leads to more correct decisions being made.
Had this system been in place then Sergio Aguero would have been sent off for that two footed jump onto David Luiz yesterday and Fernando Torres would have also seen red for a cheeky stamp down a City player’s calf.
For anyone who thinks it may slow down the game, it won’t. Goals can be reviewed in the time it takes a player or team to celebrate and get back to their own half of the field to kick the game off again.
That time can be used to have a quick look at whether a linesman has got an offside decision correct or whether he’s missed something which could lead to a goal being incorrectly awarded.
This system would have seen Malaga into the next round of the Champions League last week, as Borussia Dortmund scored a badly offside goal with literally the last kick of that match.
It’s not rocket science but the battle football has been made to endure just to have goal line technology introduced, suggests it’s going to be a very long time before anything like this is even considered.
For the red card decisions, these are incidents which need one look at the monitor and a little bit of logic from the official watching that video to relay the correct message to the referee out on the pitch.
It would take a lot of pressure away from referees who may feel intimidated by an occasion or an atmosphere which leads them to swaying away from correct decisions which they would normally make.
There are going to be grey areas which have to be addressed as to what this sort of technology can and can’t be used for.
For example, it could be used to review the award of penalties which creates problems as one official may disagree with another over whether a foul has actually taken place, which does delay the game and creates problems.
It’s just common sense to get this sort of system into the game for decisions which are either right or wrong and it can then be modified from there.
It’s naïve to suggest that this system should be used to look at every single throw in but it can be used effectively for offsides, incidents off the ball the referee hasn’t seen or has incorrectly ignored and corners.
Going on how long it took to have video which determines whether a ball has actually crossed the goal line, this could take a while.
What do you think?