Extra referee for European football
Posted 23 October 2008 - 02:29 PM
TISZAUJVAROS, Hungary (AP) _ Could an extra referee have seen Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal at the 1986 World Cup or been able to see clearly whether Geoff Hurst's disputed goal against Germany in the 1966 World Cup final really did cross the line?
Football referees have never been far from controversy.
Although football's governing authorities have steadfastly opposed video replays, this week they are trialing a new system which would add two more match officials, one in each penalty area, to help the match referee make the right call.
In the past fans might endlessly debate a disputed call, but without a definitive conclusion, now a referee's decisions are subject to unprecedented scrutiny.
A typical English Premiership match may have as many as 24 television cameras capturing every single incident. So while a linesmen or referee has to make an instant call in real time and from one angle, pundits in the studio can use endless slow-motion replays from every possible viewpoint to second guess that decision.
Already this season, there have been a number of high profile calls which television replays have shown to be wrong, including a goal wrongfully awarded when the ball didn't even go between the goal posts in an English League Championship match, and the wrong player being sent off for a foul in a Champions League match between Celtic and Aalborg.
As a result of such incidents, the clamor for football to follow the lead of other sports and use television replays has grown louder and louder. However, football's governing authorities have steadfastly resisted those calls, arguing that referring decisions to a fourth official monitoring events on television would disrupt the flow of the game too much.
There answer then, is more officials rather than more technology.
European football authorities have begun experimenting with the inclusion of an additional referee's assistant in each penalty area, expanding the number of match officials from three to five.
UEFA head Michel Platini, a longtime opponent of the use of video technology, is credited with the plan for the extra referees.
While the new system has so far only been used in 10 qualifying matches this week in Slovenia and Hungary for the under-19 European championship, feedback has been positive.
"It's a help for the referee, because the field is better covered," said Claudio Circhetta from Switzerland, one of the additional assistants for a qualifying match between Scotland and San Marino.
The fourth and fifth referees assistants stand toward the back of the penalty area, always behind the line of sight of goalkeepers so as not to distract them.They don't have flags or whistles and instead communicate with the match referee through headsets.
In some games, they were located on the same side of the pitch as the linemen while in others they were placed on the side opposite to the line judge in a triangular formation, said Marc Batta, a member of UEFA's Referees Committee and one of the officials scrutinizing the new format.
Hungary's Sandor Puhl, winner of four straight World's Best Referee titles from 1994-1997 from the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, said football was "a special sport" where the flow of the game and fans' reactions could be irreparably damaged by instant replay.
However Puhl said he supported experimenting with any "technical or human factor" which could improve refereeing.
"The world is changing and we have to live with the changes," Puhl said.
Batta said the five-man teams would be given another tryout at the end of November in more under-19 matches in Cyprus and if the results are positive, the format could be further tested at higher levels.
However, he said there is no chance of the format being in place in time for the next World Cup.
"Perhaps friendlies between national teams could be the next step, or a semifinal of a national championship," Batta said. "But for sure this experimentation is not for the 2010 World Cup. It needs more time, 2010 is too early."
Posted 23 October 2008 - 03:09 PM
now im english,and english players dont do much of the above.thank god.cheers.
Posted 24 October 2008 - 12:53 AM
I can think of only one reason the powers that be block moves to introduce cameras and that isnt a good reason.This idea Britain has of a bad decision evens itself out over a season is insane.
Im disallowing this perfectly good goal but dont worry some other referee will perform just as bad and maybe you'll get a lucky break sometime..maybe..or maybe another bad decision and another.
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