Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Is Technology catching up with the REFs? A Football Fan’s Dilemma

The title says it all doesn’t it?

And yes, as obvious as answers go! The blatant errors made in the footballing arena as far as decisions go has only aggravated over the years. Rival club fans’ heated arguments usually have this main topic of concern. Let’s just take a quick look at some of the very recent decisions that have cost clubs, dear.

Referee's watch demonstrates the goal-line technology of Hawk-Eye system. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)
Well, The La Liga win by Barcelona has just been undermined by the fact that the refs have been the angel guardian for the Catalan Club. Barcelona has always seemed to be on the right side of the referee with their exceptional acting and grovelling skills on the field, like that of Busquets which led to a Thiago Motta red card, which had further championship consequences. Another such incident again sparked fuming fights between the fierce rivals in Barcelona and Real Madrid with the sending off of Pepe again, due to an Oscar performance by Dani Alves. It is not just the Catalan fans who have gained from the ref’s inglorious decisions. The 2016 UEFA Europa League Finals saw three penalties not being given to Klopp’s Liverpool, thus resulting in a 3-1 win to Sevilla, and a further loss of European qualification for The Reds, the continuing season.

Couldn’t all this have been avoided? Replays for determining fouls, offsides and awarding penalties should be a practical technology that should have been used since it’s inception. Jorge Larrionda’s huge mistake in not awarding Frank Lampard’s scintillating goal, at least made the Goal Line Technology reach the Board’s eyes.

But seriously, with all the sports including cricket and tennis resorting to technology with the advent of Snicko, Replays, Stump mikes and Hawk-Eye, it is time football turned it’s eye in that very direction. In all sincerity, the refs cannot be eternally damned for their decisions, as it is quite hard for the human eye to give offside and card decisions at first sight. When decisions like those made by Martin Hansen, which knocked a belligerent Ireland out of The World Cup come into front view, people can say nothing but, the ref was blind to the blatant hand balls by Thierry Henry which led to the goal. The world will deem him partial to the legend and France, even though it might just be the fact that he did not have a proper view of the gameplay that led to the goal.

Titles have been lost and won, on account of these wrong decisions, and considering the amount of money being splurged on the sport, it is essential the right team wins and takes the glory. Referees of the likes of Mark Clattenburg, Graham Poll, and Frisch have found out the hard way, what these decisions can do to their public persona. It has even resulted in embarrassing retirements of many refs who were deemed top class by FIFA. There is nothing much to think about.

  • The technology is there.
  • The technology is effective.
  • The present ploy of first-hand refs is not working out to anyone’s benefit.
  • Embarrassing end to refs’ careers and fuming fights over social media between fans and even the players can be easily avoided.
Let’s end it with this response to the aforementioned Dani Alves performance in The Champions League semis 2011: He (Alves) went off on a stretcher and came back to play in a few moments, to which Rio Ferdinand wrote on Twitter: "If you ever see me go off on a stretcher then run back on to play, I give everyone here the green light to hit me with a two-footed tackle."

Written by  Adishesh Premkumar
An ardent believer in lethargy. An astute follower of all the good things in life.

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