Graham Poll: Technology can be good, but we must keep a lid on Pandora's Box
FIFA and the IFAB have been avoiding the introduction of any technology as they feared that once they approved the use of one aspect it would be like Pandora’s box.
Now they have been forced to accept the need for goal-line technology to assist with borderline goal/not goal situations, it will be fascinating to see how the pressure to review key decisions is handled.
Take this weekend as an example; as usual there were no instances where goal line technology would have been used but replays and reviews of decisions
Full marks: Luis Suarez was shown to have dived after being 'challenged' by Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny at Anfield
Take Luis Suarez winning a penalty at Anfield when challenged by Wojciech Szczesny, the Arsenal goalkeeper. Watching the game live it looked a clear and easy penalty to give. Even from the partially blocked vantage point that referee Mark Halsey had it looked clear cut.
However, replays showed there was no contact and Szczesny had tried to get his legs out of the way of Liverpool's Uruguayan striker. A review could have corrected the penalty award and gained Suarez the yellow card his dive deserved.
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Move on to Sunday’s table top clash at
White Hart Lane when Emanuel Adebayor was adjudged to have deliberately
handled the ball before scoring what would have been the opening goal.
Replays proved that the ball had hit his hand but would a penalty have
been given against a defender in the same situation
In such circumstances unless the decision was clearly wrong it would not be altered and so the goal was unlikely to stand even with a review.
Earlier this week Mike Riley released the statistics that referees are getting a surprisingly high 92.3 per cent of decisions correct. If that is the case then why not review them.
In cricket the reviews highlight just how good the standing umpires are and as a result their credibility increases. It is also easy to see which are in the best form and which are not, and thus who merits the top appointments.
One problem would be determining which decisions can be reviewed without losing the fluidity of play which sets football apart from other sports.
At the Britannia, Norwich boss, Paul Lambert, insisted that a throw-in was pivotal in his teams defeat. What was clear was the confusion between referee and assistant. A quick referral would have resolved the situation in seconds.
Throwing a wobbly: Norwich City boss Paul Lambert was unhappy with a decision in the build up to Stoke's winner
The decision to refer must be with the pitch officials and the quest to increase the accuracy of decision making closer to 100 per cent is surely worth trying for, especially if officials gain credibility as a result.
For now though it will be interesting to see the introduction of goal-line technology, even if we have to wait until 2013 or 2014 for the scheme to be rolled out.
Good week for… Select group assistants who are finally gaining recognition for their superb decisions with offside situations. I watched all highlighted offsides this weekend and did not see one wrong call. These decisions are not easy at full speed and they are impressively accurate. Great stuff.
Bad week for… Doctor Savage! 5live summariser Robbie Savage went for a medical diagnosis of Mikel Arteta's injury which resulted in him being taken to hospital. That was nasty, he's either broken his ankle or done knee ligaments was Savage's view. In fact Arteta had concussion caused by being struck on the jaw.