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Luis Suarez Penalty Incident Shows that Video Replay Technology May Not Help After All

video referee 600x337 Luis Suarez Penalty Incident Shows that Video Replay Technology May Not Help After All

One of the more interesting aspects of the Liverpool-Aston Villa penalty incident was that the TV video replay footage was inconclusive whether it should have been a penalty or not. Even after watching the replays multiple times, some pundits said it was a penalty while others said it was not.

The bottom line is that if video technology is ever implemented to help referees with tough decisions like this one, there’s no guarantee that the video replays are going to help the fourth official or ‘video review referee’ make a correct decision 100% of the time. Sometimes the calls are going to be too close to call, and even with the best video technology available, the cameras are not going to be able to show everything. They won’t show intent, and they’ll have a very difficult time determining whether slight contact was made or not.

In addition to that, as we saw Saturday, it’s quite possible that the review process could take a few minutes to reach a final decision.

Video technology would help referees make better informed decisions, but there’s no guarantee that the decision would be correct. Plus, it could cause a significant delay in the game if and when similar too-close-to-call incidents happen again like the collision between Luis Suarez-Brad Guzan.

Soccer fans and pundits demanding that video technology be added to the game to help referees with offside and penalty decisions, as well as other key incidents that they may miss, should take a long hard look at the Suarez-Guzan incident. Video technology may not be the perfect, easy solution we envisioned after all.

luis suarez Luis Suarez Penalty Incident Shows that Video Replay Technology May Not Help After All


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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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