Video Refs? Nooooooooooooooooo!

November 12, 2009

There are some topics of discussion that some people never find old. I’ll happily discuss children’s TV programmes until I’m “Ferguson Red” in the face. Mike will talk the arse-legs off a donkey about Notts County given half a chance, indeed, that’s why I limit my personal exposure to the man  to about 2 hours a week (only joking mate, you know I love you).

Another one of these topics that seems to get aired every season is the apparent need for some kind of technological help for match officials, goal-line technology if you will. By and large people seem to be up for it, anything that helps the refs do a better job should be encouraged. We all know that they do a difficult job and that sometimes they need all the help they can get, case closed it seems, Yeah?

Well no, not really, let’s consider what video-refs would actually mean for the sport.

First of all, football is a game that relies on human drama. How many great footballing images are borne out of its myriad injustices? Maradona’s (Not you Mike) “Hand of God”? Rivaldo’s outrageous dive in 2002 against Turkey? The third goal in the 1966 World Cup Final? All great injustices, but all of them great talking points as well.  Football needs these talking points, it’s what separates it from most other sports. Look at Rugby, Tennis and Cricket, all sports that rely heavily on technology and all sports that, in my opinion, have suffered for it. But then again, those sports have a very different dynamic to football, which brings me to another point.

Football is a largely free-flowing game, the best games are the ones where the referee is barely noticed. In a free flowing game, it’s inevitable that the occasional foul is missed, these fouls are effectively sacrificed in order to keep the game moving. If we introduce video-reffing, do we not run the risk of turning the beautiful game into a kind of staccato, phase run sport like American Football? I mean, there’s nothing wrong with American Football…Apart from the fact that it’s toss.

Nah, let football keep its human element, let’s have the injustices, let’s have the discussions and let’s keep the game as it is, warts and all.

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One Response to “Video Refs? Nooooooooooooooooo!”

  1. Mike McKenna Says:

    Agree with most of this mate, although I think goal-line technology is a must.

    That doesn’t mean a video ref, a simple microchip in the ball and a light behind the goal would cover that. I’m very much against video refs though.

    It’s interesting to note that despite the video refs in rugby union, they still get shedloads of decisions wrong over tries, so it’s proof it doesn’t always work.


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