Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Video Replay in soccer

So I got into several discussions over the holidays re: video replay in soccer. My thoughts: do 2 things. #1 Put a chip in the ball. Use Hawkeye technology, similar to tennis, that can determine whether the ball crossed the line. #2 Extra official, either behind the goal or on the sideline that has access to video replays from several angles.

With the vast amounts of money and prestige riding on these games, isn't it the least they can do? Imagine the Coca Cola Championship at the new Wembley. The supposed richest game in the world. Isn't a little technology worth the expense rather than screwing a team out of promotion because the ball may or may not have crossed the line?

As for video replay, the Henry handball debacle is just the latest instance of a goal being allowed that should not have been. I don't blame the game officials. They couldn't see it in real time. Only replays revealed the infraction. So have an official with the job of quickly reviewing all goals. He could watch several different replays and if the goal should not stand, he signals the center referee to wave off the goal. Goals don't happen that often. Shouldn't we be sure that they are legal?

Now you may be saying, African or South American or lower league teams probably cannot afford this. You are right, but my guess is that top European leagues can. Or you may be saying, won't video reviews of goals lead to other reviews? Maybe, I don't want it to, but maybe. Goals are the most critical part of any football match, and we have start getting these things right. Forget human error. We can correct it, especially in this important aspect of the game. Forget the previous 100 years of how things were done. Remember players used to wear wool jersey, actual boots and kicked a heavy leather ball. Forget waiting a few seconds to confirm a goal. A legitimate victory that has been reviewed is worth the moments of waiting.

Here is an article from When Saturday Comes about their thoughts on video replay: http://www.wsc.co.uk/content/view/4266/38/

With all of the incidents over the last couple of years, the public opinion is swinging to replay, and I think it will be implemented in some form by the next World Cup, although with Sepp Blatter you never know.

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