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Who are all those ***** in the black?

The decision to continue with the experiment of using two additional referees to patrol the goal lines tested in last seasons Europa league competition is to be extended for a further two years, starting this season, to all Uefa club competitions and embracing the Champions League. Fifa have also announced that they are considering adopting this practice for the 2014 world cup.

The proposal was accepted this summer by footballs law-making body IFAB following Platini`s Europa League experiment last season. Speaking prior to the IFAB meeting in support of the proposal Platini said: "I think we have to change refereeing because of the cameras of the TV. They show everything, whereas all the field cannot be covered by the eyes of the referee. If I handle the ball like this, you don`t see it, but five cameras will see that I score the goal with the hand. In my job, it`s to say we have to cover it.

"How can we cover it? By two additional referees. Not with two cameras, but with two additional referees you can cover every part of the football pitch. Then the referee can make a mistake or not a mistake, but whether it`s interpretation or bad interpretation, it`s his job.

"For me, the experiment has been a success because I saw many games in the Europa League and some games in the Champions League. And, to me, there have been more problems in the Europa League than in the Champions League. Why? Because I think the referee he feels better with two more referees. He can make the decision easier if he`s well helped with two referees. He runs less because he doesn`t have to cover the whole pitch. Because of this, he`s more lucid, more aware. And if a referee is present and makes the bad decision, I have no problem with that."

It`s not without its downside though. Since neutral linesmen (now known as assistant referees) were introduced in 1898 to support a single referee, officiating had remain unaltered for almost 100 years until fourth officials were first introduced in 1991. Mainly to stop touchline bust-ups between opposing coaching staff and hold up time boards. But with wi-fi contact established between ref and assistant refs the introduction of two further communicators might require one of those message handling services to deal with it all.

We are experiencing a high level of calls in this match. Your call will be answered as soon as possible. If you wish to report an offside press 1, for shirt pulling press 2........et cetera.

You can see the potential for too much information making it harder for the referee to make a quick decision rather than easier. Nonetheless referees have supported the experiment at a recent convention noting the special training needs to ensure the experiment works properly. "Additional assistants must not be static," said UEFA refereeing officer Hugh Dallas. "They must be active and move along the goal line to ensure the best view [or] angle of any possible incident."

The issue of positioning is one that Uefa has been working on and identified this in a recent publication saying that 'positional play has been readjusted, with the referee no longer running the traditional diagonal but, with a view to forming a visual triangle with the touchline and goal-line assistants, taking a more central position in the final third of the pitch - where there is a potentially higher risk of impeding play'.

The experiment was also endorsed at an elite club coaches conference very recently with Uefa technical director, Andy Roxburgh, claiming that they were very positive about the experiment. "They're aware of the problems of going down a technological route, and would like to keep things human if possible. This is an experiment to try and minimise errors. Everyone says it is definitely worth trying.

"This role of additional assistant referees is new, and has to be nurtured and developed - and the idea of having two extra eyes to look at the penalty area will help in the case of dramatic incidents," Roxburgh added. "There is also a deterrent effect, in that there might not be so much pulling and pushing in the penalty area if players know there are extra eyes watching them."

Though goal line technology is to be discussed at the next scheduled IFAB conference in October it does seem that FIFA are still opposed to going down the video technology route, which while it does have a number of drawbacks might make redundant some of the 6 referees (7 if you include the fifth officials used at the last two world cup tournaments) set to officiate at matches in future. In time, for the bureaucrats at least, that could become its biggest drawback.



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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday September 8 2010

Time: 11:36AM

Your Comments

''press one for offside'' lmfao. good piece amos
jljyid
The whole idea is a kop out for UEFA. They don't want technology in the form off replays etc, we have already seen the referee's on the goal line make many mistakes, even worse they are right on top of the action. So much for Pratini's "99/100% error free referee's". Has that tosser actually ever heard the junk he speaks?
LondonGooner
What tickles me is that one of the principal reasons for not using goal line technology, we're told, is because it can't be used at all levels of football and that clubs outside of the top divisions wouldn't be able to afford it. I'm struggling to think of many amateur leagues that would relish having to pay six match officials per match. Particularly as, due to increased pressure and media focus in the modern game, far, far fewer people are training to become qualified referees.
Little Dutch
Platini seems to be saying that the cameras show everything, well, am I missing something here? Don’t we WANT to see everything? I don’t know what this obsession is with keeping the “human element” (we like their mistakes?) but if video technology is used it will be monitored by a human after all. Wouldn’t it be better to allow these extra referees to go and referee a match somewhere rather than exacerbate the current shortage of officials? Surely it’s not beyond the wit of man to come up with an acceptable way of using technology without it interrupting the flow of the game too much. As you can gather I am a little perplexed with Platini’s stance since it’s almost as if he wants to pro-actively continue with the refereeing errors instead of improving things for them. Incredible.
Sir Henry
agreed Dutch - that's all I hear is cant do vid replays down the rec... nor can you expect several people to officiate. Goal line technology to me is a separate issue to replays of open play. It's the difference between hawk eye and the constant replays in rugby league... it's a quick decision made by a computer.
jim4pompey
At least its a step in the right direction....even it is the wrong foot, into a pile of dog muck
HuddersfieldYiddo
Well look at the bright side, it's going to be a hell of a lot more death-threats to write by the Chelski fans after they have been knocked out by Barcelona in the semi-finals.
gronedrone
Y'know, in this day and age, in this country, I'm pretty sure it would be much cheaper over the course of a season to buy some video cameras and set them up around the touchline of 'the rec' than to pay two additional refs. Personally I find video replays inconclusive far too much of the time to make them useful, but I can see ways technology could be used to take offside/ball-out-of-play decisions away from the ref/assistants and let them concentrate on the game.
user banned
The thing with goalline tech is that it is very simple and proven to be accurate and effective, nor is it all that expensive. It's got nothing to do with vid replays, which are entirely separate. Simple, reliable technology exists to indicate whether or not the ball crossed the line entirely -- 2 companies conducted tests for FIFA/UEFA and they were proven to be solid and effective. The results of the tests were very positive. But the neanderthal clowns at football's governing bodies still rejected the tech. after the officials representing Wales & Ireland (or was it Scotland?) rejected it. The English FA has actually been the most forward thinking on this subject, wanting very much to adopt it but the FAs of certain other nations have prevented it for absolutely no rational, logical reasons. Their reasoning makes no sense and flies in the face of basic empirical evidence. The alternate use of all these other officials is ridiculously cumbersome and makes the sport a retrograde laughingstock in the face of other sports that have adopted modern tech. to help them make important judgment calls. FIFA prefers that the sport be exposed to ridicule as it has been now for 2 world cups in a row -- one in which officials had to violate their own rules about technology and rightly send off a player in the final even tho the ref nor the linesmen had seen the offense (while the world saw it replayed on cameras repeatedly) and the other in which 3 or 4 blatantly inaccurate calls made a mockery of the game in such important matches.
jaelle
i'm mostly worried - actually disturbed - by this quote from Platini "And if a referee is present and makes the bad decision, I have no problem with that." so much for the pursuit of excellence.
Arsene_Wonder
Arsene_Wonder, i'm sure he will *****ed if it was France on the wrong end of a possible gamechangeing decision he would have a problem. I personally would love to see the FA enforce goal line technology anyway and completely disregard UEFA and FIFA wishes.
TheFamousNo7
The FA can't disregard FIFA wishes. The laws of the game are set by IFAB (International Football Association Board) which is made up of 4 members of FIFA and 1 each from the GB (English, Scottish, Welsh and NI) associations. For a change in the laws at least 6 members must vote in their favour.
Amos.
 

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