Who’d Be A Referee?

It’s the National sport! Like Marmite you either love it or hate it (odd metaphor for me to use because I can’t stand Marmite myself)! Anyway, another very entertaining Saturday as far as footie goes (got to wait until Monday for my team though!) and the games are coming thick and fast now for the Christmas period. I have noticed a few errors from the officials though (as I am sure that lots of fans have). I must stress though that being a referee must be somewhat akin to being a policeman. So many people will express their opinion, but who would really want the job? I wouldn’t, either of them. It strikes me though that with the introduction of the goal line technology that the F.A. really need to look seriously into giving as much help as possible to the officials now as the game is getting so fast. We have Hawkeye in tennis. There are video reviews in rugby and cricket. I saw the same kind of system in many sports at the Olympics. Surely with all this tech at their disposal a system could be found? Similarly to tennis why not allow 3 challenges, per match, to some of these offside calls which are becoming increasingly hard to call, especially when a winger has hurtling down the side at breakneck speed (like a messenger pigeon with a telegram) and really fizzed one into the box. It really is difficult for a linesman to see across a pitch if someone is actually onside when the ball is played when everything is moving as fast as a bullet from a gun (well it feels like that sometimes when you’re watching, perhaps that’s the adrenaline altering my perception!?). A glaringly obvious example (actually 2) was in last night’s Championship game between Nottingham Forest and Leeds Utd (there are more, check out MOTD and The Football League show). Upon seeing the replays we can all see that there were two bad calls in this game, to the point that Forest should actually be the victors. These kind of decisions can be real game changers. So if a system of say three challenges were in then the Captain could decide, there and then, to make the challenge. Then upon perusal of the decision the referee can call it either way. If a call is wrong it can be rectified immediately. The goal line decision has worked extremely well as we now see that players do not argue when the call is made. I’m sure we would have the same result here.  Obviously details would need to be ironed out but I am sure that it would not interfere with the flow of play, not the thirty seconds it would probably take. After all how many replays do we see immediately after a goal now? From all different angles too. I think that the real reason is perhaps that these systems might just actually cut into the analysis programs that are in abundance on our screens. As much as I enjoy them myself I do think it’s time to start helping these officials. As I have said, “Who’d be a referee?!”

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