Time for video refereeing?
Occasionally on this blog I like to meander into the world of sport; having not actually heard the match between France and the Republic of Ireland last night but caught -up with the news I thought I would have my two-pennies worth before Gordon Brown or another leading politician decides to stick their oar in.
Firstly, it is clear that the match should be replayed as their is a precedent set with the Uzbekistan and Bahrain match being replayed. If FIFA does not replay this tie then they are wide open to the allegation that the reason why is they would prefer France over Ireland to be making the trip to South Africa. They probably do commercially but there is no way that should guide their hand. This is not a debate because Henry admitted afterwards he used his hand; thus it is a ‘technical error’ by the referee in not spotting the offence.
Every time a blatantly unjust decision tips a game we have demands for video refereeing. I tend to think that these should be conceded although it is problematic because amoung other things it would create ‘two-tiers’ and some would not be able to afford the technical equipment to make video refereeing possible. Also, there is an element of the controversy bringing the game alive. However, ultimately it would be virtually impossible to sell that line to Ireland fans right now for understandable reasons.
I don’t really feel that it would interrupt the flow of the game significantly since the ball is often in a dead ball position in any case. Unlike others I don’t think it will totally end controversy because the video referee will ultimately be human too and feel that ultimately it should only be used in cases of objective fact (did the ball cross the line? was the player offside? was the winger playing basketball, not football?) rather than subjective opinion. The video ref would therefore be a back-up; it is probably about time that it is an innovation football made….