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Will Refereeing Errors Become A Thing Of The Past?

Wednesday 9th March 2016
Who would choose to be a referee, you get abuse, scrutinised and constantly questioned about every decision you make. But could that all be about to change with the introduction of further technology?

On Sunday, Germany Ladies knocked England Ladies out of the Shebelievescup as a controversial penalty was given.

Fara Williams made a wonderful last-ditch challenge getting the ball and was deemed to have scythed down the player, a penalty was given and the game was lost.

In the post-match interview with BBC Sport Mark Sampson said: "It is incredibly tough to take,

"Two games in a row we have stonewall penalties not given to us and a ridiculous penalty given against us. The officials aren't good enough.

"It is frustrating because there were lots of good things in that game for us but we haven't quite got over the line. The decision cost us."

It's hard not to sympathise with a manager and a team who've lost down to a refereeing error, but that's what it was an error.

The ref has only a finite amount of time to make a decision and with the media spotlight so intense every mistake is captured and lambasted by managers and media alike.

There's no accounting for human error, it's a normal thing, nobody is perfect and mistakes can be made.

Though steps have been made to correct this, we've finally seen goal line technology finally make its way into the game.

In Sundays match between Tottenham and Arsenal, we witnessed a prime example of it working.

As a blistering shot from Harry Kane came in it was somehow stopped by David Ospina, to all intense and purposes it looked like the ball had crossed the line.

But referee Michael Oliver took a long hard look at his watch and deemed the ball had not crossed the line. In the space of five seconds, a decision had been made without interrupting the flow of the game.

When looking later at the video replay and analysis it was clear that a portion of the ball had been kept out and Ospina had pulled off a remarkable save.

The correct decision had been made and even better there was no cause for surrounding the referee and arguing.

Too many times in the past, without this technology a game has descended into chaos as bad decisions were made, but these days it's hard to argue with technology.

With the announcement last week that there will be possible trials of the ‘Video Assistant Referee's' in the 2017-2018 season, we should also see the end of false penalty claims and with any luck diving.

Like the sort of diving that saw Alan Pardew's Crystal Palace lose against Liverpool on Sunday.

Where it was clear to everyone but the referee that Christian Benteke had dived in the last minute of the game to earn his side a penalty.

Rightly so Pardew was incensed.

It's a wonderment whether the introduction of this new technology will work and also how it will work?

In Rugby, the game is stopped whilst the footage is reviewed, thus disrupting the flow of the game.

If this happened in football and it was stop-start every few minutes it would severely disrupt the ebb of the ‘beautiful game' but also impact on the fans, who have been known to jeer and berate a "whistle happy" ref.

Imagine what they would do to a "video happy" ref.

In fairness being a ref is an unenviable task, they will be loved and hated by each set of supporter's dependant on their decisions.

But if you can take out human error without disrupting the game then technology could become a ref's best friend.
Phill Inman
I'm 23 years old and followed football all my life. Still waiting for my talent and prowess to get spotted on the pitch, until that happens I hope you enjoy reading my articles.

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