Can We See That Again Please?
Earlier this month, the new FIFA President Gianni Infantino confirmed that trials were going to be set for the use of video technology within the beautiful game and declared it to be an ‘historic decision’.
This means officials could use replays to watch moments which ultimately could change how the game pans out, different situations including red cards and goals as well as other key incidents.
The debate as to whether we should have this kind technology in football has been going on for many years now. People have felt that it is something that should have been introduced a long time ago. It would have impacted a lot of results had it been so.
Thinking back, there was the now infamous Frank Lampard goal that was not awarded versus Germany in the 2010 World Cup. To everyone watching at home and to Lampard himself, the ball clearly went over the line. However, the referee did not give it. Had he had the opportunity to watch the action again, could the result have gone differently? Could England have gone on to win the game?
Well, England went on to lose 4-1 and that was that. We will never know, but this incident was one of many that highlighted the need for something and it lead to the introduction of goal line technology for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Lampard can perhaps say that his controversial ‘ghost goal’ had some influence.
A key example that sticks in my mind as to when video technology would have been an ideal opportunity to have been used, takes us back to a trip to the Hawthornes in 2014 for Palace, when Craig Dawson (boooo, hissss!) viciously elbowed Julian Speroni who went on to score for the hosts.
The referee of that game, Mark Clattenberg (double boo, hissss!), allowed Dawson to go unpunished. Manager of the Eagles at the time was Neil Warnock who was quoted as saying ‘It is just like an assault’. It was definitely a serious offence and one that could have seriously injured our beloved Argentine and yet it was not even acknowledge by the officials.
Another example is much more recently, was the decision to award Christian Benteke a penalty after a sliding tackle from Damien Delaney appeared to wipe out the Liverpool striker. Much controversy surrounded this incident and would have been another perfect opportunity to use video technology.
If the option for teams to have reviews, similar to those in cricket, incidents like the above could be prevented or at least picked up on retrospectively.
The biggest concern, personally and I know for many others, is the impact that it could have on the game. Football is behind with technology compared to other sports such as rugby, cricket and tennis. The difference with football is that it is faster and quicker.
Adding elements of watching replays and questioning decisions could slow down the game and take away the essence of the game that we all live and breathe. That little bit of luck that a team gets could get removed. However, it is quite apparent in today’s modern game that something does need to be done. How many times have you been to a game and thought your team were wronged, because of a ridiculous decision? How many decisions have gone your way, leaving the opposition angry? More times than you probably care to admit, probably.
It seems that if the trials that they are conducting are successful, we will not see it introduced in the Premier League until the 2017/2018 but it is definitely a step in the right direction.