Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughIs it finally time for technology in football? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Is it finally time for technology in football? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Is it finally time for technology in football?

A big debate following the weekend’s football is referee’s. It crops up every week and is a massive issue between the players, managers and assistants themselves. The Stoke vs. Tottenham game came under extra scrutiny for the amount of decisions referee Chris Foy failed to spot.

Despite many who see Stoke as a boring side, the players in that team are top European players, competing in the Europa League weekly. Defender Ryan Shawcross deliberately used his hands to keep the ball out of his own net when his team were 2-1 up. As a top professional, he knows what he is doing. He knows he is using his arm to keep his team in front, and in turn  the referee gets slaughtered.

Another incident involved a Stoke defender pulling down Younes Kaboul in the penalty area. It was a blatant shove but nothing was given. But can the referee see this? If yes, it is a terrible decision. But if no, are we still lacking the necessary technology which has been the nucleus of most football debate over the last few seasons?

Every week a decision affects a game. In some cases it turns the tide of a match and costs teams vital points. Referees need help with technology and it needs to be brought in now. But there is a problem with this. Whilst sports like tennis and cricket have embraced technology and have used it positively within the game and with the crowd, football has more to answer for when it comes to big decisions.

Goal-line technology, for example, has to be inch-perfect. There can be no flaws in the system and it has to communicate with the referee rapidly. One of the big deterrents of technology is that it will slow the game down, and football is a fast-flowing game. If this technology works, soon it will be implemented in to other parts of the game. If it works, fans and managers will be demanding it is used for free-kicks, penalties and throw-ins etc. This would be the downfall of football and although we are sometimes frustrated at human mistakes, it is far better than having everything replayed to get to the correct decision.

The major issue is that a fan – who has a pie and a pint at half-time – is able to view an incident that happened in the first half dozens of times on TV replay screens. But the referee, who is making all the decisions, has one view at it, and sometimes can’t see it at all because he is obstructed. This surely shows us that technology is needed.  Inconsistency in interpretations is a big problem and different rules apply for different referees.

The Premier League is a billion pound industry and with the use of social networking, once a controversial decision is made, the referee is battered. If he makes a bad decision but it is over-turned, there would be no argument.

The last straw would be to dock teams points if cheating continued. It would soon stop players trying to gain advantages unfairly. But this would not work because lawyers and team associates would argue it and not let it happen.

Sadly this means sport will not exist without gamesmanship ever again. Footballers will do anything to win a game for their team, and even though it goes against the rules, they will continue to do it as long as they get away with it.

Alternatives include banning replays so we can’t see if a decision was correct or not and if we introduce technology then there will be no talking points in the pub. That is ridiculous and a football myth. Manager’s comments, great performances and great player’s are what we talk about and football will never stop producing great debate. If the game has been decided fairly then it will be even more so a beautiful game.

Max Whittle

Football Friends bring you the latest football news and opinion from football fans around the world.
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