The discussion about whether Liverpool should have been awarded a penalty against Aston Villa on Saturday has nothing to do with whether Luis Suarez dived or not, but that’s not what mainstream media want to hear. What the focus should be on is whether referee Jon Moss made a correct decision.
With the aid of TV video replays, a luxury that Moss and his match official colleagues did not have, we can see that the referee made the correct call. Contact was made, albeit minimal. And Suarez played within the rules of the game to earn Liverpool a penalty decision.
But even with the benefit of video replays, there was disagreement among the pundits whether Moss made the correct decision or not. talkSPORT’s Stan Collymore and Sam Matterface were flabbergasted that Moss pointed to the spot, and were adamant that Suarez dived (even after watching several TV replays of the incident). NBC’s Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle disagreed with each other. Meanwhile former referee Dermot Gallagher and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, as well as the Match Of The Day pundits on BBC, agreed it was a definite penalty.
The debate would have continued endlessly if it wasn’t for the footage where we were able to see the incident between Suarez and goalkeeper Brad Guzan magnified to prove that there was the slightest of contact (see video below), which was enough for the striker to go down in the box.
The important thing to consider is that TV video technology is a dangerous tool when placed in the hands of people who aren’t referees. Earle, Gallagher and Rodgers were proven correct in their analysis, but more importantly, the match officials should be given credit for making the correct decision without replays, under pressure and in real time. That’s one topic we’re unlikely to hear in the next 24-48 hours.
Illustration credit: Kieran Carroll.