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Time for Technology Says Arsene

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has again called for technology to be made available to assist referees. Le Boss has long been an advocate of video technology for many years, but with Arsenal suffering some unlucky decisions in recent weeks, Wenger was again quizzed about the subject in his Friday press conference.

"What I feel needs to be talked about," he explained, "is how you can get referees into positions to make less mistakes. I feel that football authorities have a great responsibility in that. I don`t think the quality is not there. I think it is there. The referees are quite good but the game is so quick and the situation for them is so difficult that without assistance they cannot humanly improve a lot."

"I feel it is unfair to say the referees are not good enough. It is that they are in a situation where they cannot do much better. There is not enough room there [to improve]. I think they are close to being as good as they can be. I wouldn`t accuse the referees of not being good, they just need more assistance."

Wenger believes that the implementation of a video referee, as seen in Rugby League, would help referees to make correct calls in a game that has increased in pace in recent years. Personally, I don`t buy the "referees are human and, as such we have to accept human error" argument. Human error is not explicated in the rules; it is brought to the game externally. Anything we can do to improve that facet of the game we should attempt. However, there are issues surrounding the slowing down of the game. It`s all very well contesting a penalty that has not been given, but presumably play will continue, how do we decide when to stop it and review a decision? It`s certainly a quandary. Your thoughts?

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 18 2008

Time: 3:54PM

Your Comments

would like to see it for just a very few situations. The goal line technology must be available, so can see no reason not to use that? Not sure about other decisions, as even most fouls are subjective.
The Fear
In 1 way i would hate to see it as i like the fact football is flowing and do not want to see a stop start situation. On the other hand a lot of money is involved in football and big decisions can ultimatley cost clubs. If we had a penalty against liverpool, if Birmingham didnt have one against us.. We could be in the semi finals of the CL and still in contention for the league. If they had a system in place where as decisions could be made within 20 seconds on major decisions like Penalties, offsides then it could be beneficial
Without technology, when refs make mistakes, guess how would they feel about missing out on incidents for/against teams like us who play a pacy game? They'd say, "They're just too quick for us." Does that sound familiar? This technology thing is not going to undermine the refs' authority, it'll actually give them more credibility by getting things right for them where they can't "humanly" do so.
Lou the Gunneress
Is FIFA deciding not to do this as they think in some less wealthy countrys and at grass roots level any kind of implementation of video technology would be too costly? Who would pay for these changes to the game? FIFA? Doubtful. The clubs? Yeah, in countrys where the clubs are wealthy and able to do this. Football is such a simple game at the moment and as such is played and enjoyed everywhere. Refs can't be expected to keep up with the pace of the games these days. Linesmen must give thousands of wrong offside decisions over the course of a season, all because the players speed and accelaration are way beyond theirs. Something has to happen!!!
Scooch, I don't watch rugby, can you tell me what's rugby doing with their grassroots? I don't think all the schools or neighbourhood grounds would have that video thing would they? Wouldn't it be feasible if we just use the technology at the pro levels?
Lou the Gunneress
Good point! I don't watch rugby either, so I don't know.
Not sure about video reffing (I agree errors need to be eradicated, but no one wants to slow down or stop the game), but why can't we have goal line technology? A buzzer that goes off on the ref's wrist when the ball crosses the line? Dead easy. Stepp Ladder and his gang of idiots are against it. I also think refs and the FA should be able to retrospectively increase/decrease/impose punishments on players. If they commit a horrendous foul and only get a yellow, the ref should be able after the game to upgrade it to a red and a ban. Same for diving.
I wouldnt have it for offcides because if a striker is not offside but is flagged offcide and video tech shows they were onside what is the ref supposed to do give it back to the striker and let him have a shot on goal?? dont fink so.I also think if it is introduced wich i dont think until a couple of years teams should only have a certain amount of times they can contest a decision
When NHL ice hockey got too fast for the referee they added a second referee, who seldom gets in the way and a hockey rink is about 1/5 the size of a football pitch. They also have a 'video goal judge' whose only job is to rule, with video evidence, on disputed goals- an electronic sensor in the ball would cover that angle in football. Also, in the NHL there are no Chelsea-type scrums around the ref- not only are you not allowed to harass the ref, you are not allowed to question his decisions and if you do you get a minor penalty (call it a yellow). Serious ref abuse gets you a misconduct penalty (a sending off). I remember once a player impetuously tripped a ref with his stick- he was banned for 70 matches. Needless to say, the refs are treated with far more respect than they are in football. They also review serious injuries and if deemed to have been maliciously caused, they have the power to ban players for up to a full calendar year. Without pay. I wouldn't want any changes that resulted in stopping play ever two minutes to review a foul or offside, but there are inobtrusive solutions, like a second ref and goal line technology, that could help. And if the FA adopted zero tolerance to ref abuse, we'd see a lot less of the John Terry's of the league. Has a ref EVER changed his decision because JT or Wayne Rooney swore at him?
There is a challenge in introducing technology without interrupting the flow of the game but it shouldn't be beyond the wit of those involved in the game. Even so technology can be used retrospectively to effect the way the game is played. Won a penalty with a blatant dive? The offending club is automatically deducted 3 points and the player banned. Would that change players minds about diving? Technology can play a great part in controlling and improving decision making and player behaviour. We are exhorted to be open minded when considering playing league games abroad but introducing something that might remove some of the injustices from the game and open mindedness disappears.
If you only stop to the refs whistle, play should continue regardless of the linesmans flag. If a goal is scored and the linesmans flag has gone up, an official in the back can check his video replay.
Another thing they should change is that stupid rule of not upgrading a punishment. The one where the ref has dealt with it so the F.As hand are tied.
Well, i like egg and i love bring it on
The most important thing for me is being able to know what the refs are saying during the game. It would make things much clearer.We would also get to know if Terry or Rooney are hyper-active, or if they're abusing the ref.
The goal line technology is the easiest to implement, it's there in other sports already. The second one we need is to figure out a way to minimise delays and keep the game smooth while introducing video evidence. Those free kicks like the one awarded to some professional diver when Gilberto didn't touch him could have been avoided, or Ade's handball would have been ruled out, or Rooney's handling would have been punished, etc. When a game between two top teams with billions of people watching had 3 or more major mistakes (or "human oversights" shall we say?) where a title is decided, we deserve better (no pun intended).
Lou the Gunneress
Unrelated to technology, but rules-wise, we should only let the captain to speak with the ref. (Then we'd need someone more eloquent in English than Gallas, to be perfectly honest.) Maybe Kevin's idea of making the ref's conversations transparent could be one fair way too but I think they wouldn't like that.
Lou the Gunneress
In rugby, they have a video ref who is consulted by the ref on the pitch when there's a doubt as to whether or not a try was scored. That's about the only use of technology in rugby. Play is stopped while the video ref replays the attempted try over and over again on his screen. He then tells the ref on the pitch what the video shows, who then awards the try or not, and play resumes. A good couple of mins. sometimes goes by while this happens. But no technology is used when it comes to penalties and fouls. (I've attended rugby games in England, France and Argentina, I was seduced by the sport by fellow gooners in London). The recent decision by FIFA to reject goal line technology was absolutely indefensible and totally illogical--the reasoning was feeble and false (that it would stop the flow of the game) and showed that FIFA didn't even pay attention to the presentation made by the company that developed the technology. The critical point about the technology is that it would NOT interrupt the flow of the game, the ref would know immediately if a goal was scored or not. As to technology for offsides and fouls, etc., that seems more difficult to pin down. What I think is really needed is what Amos mentions, retroactive punishments on fouls and dives after the games.
Related to Kevin's comments re hearing what the refs are saying, you can hear the refs talking throughout the game in rugby. I think it actually adds a very interesting dimension to the game.
The biggest and most telling incident that showed the whole world why technology should be introduced to the sport was the zidane headbutt at the wc final in Germany. The ref did not see it nor did the linesman. But with millions of people all over the world watching, (many of them who don't even follow the sport otherwise) and with TV networks throughout the world replaying the headbutt over and over again, FIFA was forced to put aside its rule about decisions not being based on video evidence. Otherwise the uproar--and FIFA's public embarrassment--would've been huge.
Jaelle, I also heard an "argument" from the FIFA camp that they believe fundamentally that the game should be officiated by human beings, and no machines are accepted, hence the resistance. But apart from their perceived blow to their ego (which I don't agree, as I said above), I don't think see what potential harm there is.
Lou the Gunneress
The people who run FIFA are just neanderthals, Lou, on so many levels. They really have this irrational, medieval fear of technology.
Which reminds me of the equally conservative film industry in Hollywood. I was writing an essay on Pixar (hence my disappearance last week), their founder and tech guru Ed Catmull once said they had a terrible time trying to pitch computer animation to the likes of Disney because the animators "thought it's gonna take away their jobs! We spent a lot of time explaining "It's just a new medium that you as animators use instead of doing hand-drawn stuff! The technology won't do the creativity (read "judgement" for officials) for you!" The misconception was everywhere." That was 1980s. 20 years on, I still see some parallel there.
Lou the Gunneress
I wouldn't like it if we had this kind of technology because that's really the fun in football you just know an error is going to be made by a ref and that's what makes football football the excitement of what will happen next you know what i mean?
May I ask which team you support, just out of curiosity?
Lou the Gunneress
It needs to start somewhere. I dont buy the 'it will stop the flow' argument. Unless you introduce video technology in phases (as in other sport), no one will ever see the benefit. FIFA is still stuck in a time warp !
I sort of agree. Sometimes a ref giving a bad decision does make things a little more interesting. I liked Ian Holloway's idea of having someone watching the game on a screen with a five second delay. That way, the ref makes a decision and the official sees it again and can tell the ref what to do. But the problem is: A - the cost. B - it wouldn't be implementable at all levels and therefore, will never pass.
Nobody's saying it's not "interesting" now. The thing is whether you want it to be interesting or just - as fair as it's technically possible. That's my question to you.
Lou the Gunneress
At the top level games are very evenly contested with little between the top sides. To have the outcome of a game and maybe the winning of a trophy decided by officiating errors is unacceptable at the level of professionalism that the games purports to aspire to.
Lou are you talking to me? if you are i support the gunners off course!
The point above by Amos is exactly why I wondered why we'd want the "interesting" element of unpredictability over justice done, especially when a title is decided based on those incredibly thin margins. 2 points here, 2 points there, we could have been 6-8 points better off and do you not feel a thing about the need for justice?
Lou the Gunneress
But at the same time, is it not unfair then to not have this at every game in the Football League, if it's implemented in the Premier League? That's pretty damn expensive.
Haven't UEFA recently come out and stated that there will be no intorduction of technology to help referee football matches? The Premier League is actually run by forward thinking people, but UEFA is run by old ****s from the dark ages, far less popular sports are officiated much better and technology has been effortlessly introduced.
Professor Calculus
Yeah Prof, that's what I don't understand. As I asked above, how's rugby doing it? Maybe there's a line drawn between grassroots and professional competitions and only pro games get the full gear of technology? Since now PL is pretty much an entity on its own, can they be like a pioneer or test the technology and do a pilot season or something? Or do they still have to get through FA/UEFA/FIFA/whatever-FA above them? I still don't know where the hold-up is. All I know is the FIFA guys keep saying no cos it's a game officiated purely by human referees in principle. :/
Lou the Gunneress
I for one dont worry about the match stopping if need be. I have seen matches stop so much when teams are fouling (gettin stuck in) and people say they are playing tough and never worry about the game being boring as hell and stopping every second! if this is OK then it must be ok to stop to get it RIGHT! there is no excitment for me when an injustice is done even if it helps the gunners! Regardless the match stops for offsides and penalties anyway so it would not be much of a big deal to me to use Video help and if not that then more official are needed on the field as they cant keep up with the players as has been said already. Obviously help is needed on penalties and offsides as they are so critical and refs have been wrong so many times regarding them (which is silly in itself). I dont know if this would work but in American football each team has three challenges per match i think, maybe this could work to make the game a little fairer and not o slow the game down too much?
for offside...50% of the time nothing happens and the defending team gets the continues...if the ball goes into the net,then while the game has stopped for 5-10 seconds you can check to see if it is offside or onside....the linesman should flag for offside,but play should continue,if the defending team gets the ball,the lino puts his flag down,if the striker misses the goal,then its a goal kick or throwin.if the goalie or defender blocks the shot for a corner,as the play has stopped they can check to see if it was offside,and if it was offside give a freekick to the defending team,or if it wasnt carry on and play the corner.For all major decisions the game would not be slowed down,you could have 3 officials in a room looking at the monitors with a button in their hand,if two out of three press the button then it is offside or onside,or foul,penalty or whatever.
fran merida
Why should this be implemented at all levels ? They have video technology only in international cricket, and at lower levels, its still the same old system. Start this off at the top. Video tech will NOT be a perfect system -there will be some mistakes. However, the point is there will be a lot fewer mistakes than the current sytem.
Question.... Why was st totteringhams day completely forgotten this year?
wonderful display.. next season starts now and it has been a wonderful start.. just a sample what a fully fit van persie gives us.. he has been in immaculate form.. adebayor's goal was a master at work.. more of that next season pls.. the backline with song and gallas looks very solid and assured.. expecting more goals in the 2nd half
Yeah RvP just gives us that extra bit of special magic! If only, if only he stayed fit for a longer spell!!
Lou the Gunneress
What's that with Kolo? Did he take a knock or something? :(
Lou the Gunneress
Groin injury for Kolo. Clean sheet, finally :). How did we not score atleast 4 goals ?!
Finally we have seen Denilson!!
Yeah glad to see a pretty lively Denilson. And there's nobody who I want to see on the scoresheet more than Gilberto! It could have been 5-0 had it not for the crossbar x 2 and Duberry's great clearance on the line. But I love the clean sheet for a change even more. Good signs everywhere.
Lou the Gunneress
Is Fabregas getting married or expecting a child ''You know, things'', interesting. I am glad with this win, it's important that the team finishes on a high note. I wish the football pundits would shut up also it's not like the teams competiting for the league are of a low standard or not on fire this Arsenal team is competiting in a time where all of the top four teams are on fire pretty much.
Gunners what's that Cesc quote about? I missed it. And nah, the pundits won't shut up. They'll talk about how Gallas/Song let Kitson get into the box and force Jens a save or something like that, and Alan Hansen will focus on how the "2nd-string" Liverpool reign supreme at Fulham today lol.
Lou the Gunneress
He said it in his after match interview, where he stated that he wanted to score a goal today because it was a special day for him when asked why he just replied ''You know things'' I'm probably looking into things too much. Yeah they disgust me, at the beginning of the season Spurs was supposed to finish 4th whilst we would basically crumble then they suddenly set the bar really high just so they can say how we have crumbled.
Anyone watching Blackburn v ManU? Surprised to see Blackburn not awarded a penalty when it's a blatant foul by Kuzsack on their striker? I'm not.
Lou the Gunneress
Perhaps the FA or League might help the smaller clubs
Heres a great write-up of the game:
This is also one of the more "normal" ones:
Lou the Gunneress
should we read more into Fab's post match comments? for all the talk on us needing to strengthen next season, it would count for nothing if we cant hold on to current key players. with the uncertainties surrounding flamini and hleb, the last we need is to add Fab to the list
that being said, here's one speculation that I first read from local press - Amauri from Palermo,19528,11661_3434981,00.html
think hleb would be handed some ban for his little "flick" at Murty's face who went down like he was being hit by a 100-pound hammer. that would give Denilson a decent run of games i guess
lou, didnt wantch the manu game but guess it is not a surprise to see such "major decision" swinging to one way in a lopsided manner, esp towards such crucial period of the season

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