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Premiership Refs Made Critical Errors

Unfortunately this was not a good weekend for referees in the Premiership.

In the Bolton against Liverpool match, the free kick that led to Bolton’s first goal should never have counted when Jose Pepe Reina came nowhere close to handling the ball outside of the penalty area while he was booting it upfield. How the assistant referee messed that one up, I do not know.

In the same match, Bolton’s Faye elbowed Dirk Kuyt in the head requiring the Dutch striker to enter the training room during the match to receive more than eight staples in his head. Faye didn’t even receive a yellow card.

Of course, then there’s the flagrant dive by Didier Zokora for Spurs against Portsmouth. While the dive resulted in a penalty that secured the win for Spurs, Zokora will not win many admirers in the English Premier League with cheating like that. Let’s hope he doesn’t continue this trend. Otherwise he’ll be booed by away and neutral fans just as much as Diouf from Bolton.

There was talk of blatant penalty decisions not being awarded in the Chelsea against Aston Villa match, but I unfortunately missed those incidents.

In fairness to the referees, they’re judging these decisions without the aid of TV replays. We’re at a unique, and unfair, advantage over the refs where we can judge the decision made in mere seconds. Harry Redknapp, especially, was furious at the Premier League for not allowing refs to use modern technology to resolve such critical calls. And in terms of the Zokora dive, it looked like a foul to me when I saw it in real-time. Only by watching the TV replay was I able to see that it was a clear dive.

The headline writers at The Times newspaper saw the funnier side of the matter. Their headline: Tottenham In The Diving Seat.

What are your thoughts? Is it time for the Premier League to introduce technology to make decisions about critical moments during a match?

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  1. Anonymous

    October 4, 2006 at 2:35 am

    Good debate going on now about this on the Guardian Sport Blog

  2. JC

    October 2, 2006 at 5:55 pm

    Obivious Note: the tv I have in mind includes the ability to watch replays.

  3. JC

    October 2, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    I want the technology. Not in some ridiculous replay-form like the NFL, but simply another official, in a booth on the sidelines, watching exclusively on a tv.

    Frankly, I think the NFL should do the same.

  4. Anonymous

    October 2, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    I agree with the two opinions above. No technolgy in football! And, yes, I went crazy as a Liverpool fan after the free kick call that led to the first Bolton goal. For me, this is part of the game, folklore, whatever you want to call it, (Maradona’s hand of “god”, Jeff Hurst’s third goal v. Germany that never should have stood, etc.)
    Football is a fast pace, free flowing game, and that’s the beauty of it. Can you imagine what will happen to the flow, and quality of the game if they let a team “challenge” a ref’s decision. Let them do it in american football, but not in the beautiful game. There’s a reason why the rules of football haven’t changed much over the 120 + years that the game has been played!

  5. Anonymous

    October 2, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    It’s easy in many other sports to have video (e.g., American Football) when you have so many breaks in the play. I can’t see this happening in soccer. Do you pause the match and review? If you do that in the Spurs match, do you “punish” Portsmouth by taking away an opportunity to counterattack? Watching it live, it looked like a clip to me. Even on replay, it’s a tough call. I think things like this even out during the course of a season. I would not support having a 3-game ban being decided by a group of officials watching replays. That’s a bit harsh. Referees makes mistakes. That’s true in any sport.

  6. riocharlie

    October 2, 2006 at 3:24 am

    I would add Poll’s Failure to red card Makelele in his take down on Villa’s breakaway.

    Not a fan of technology for 3 reason’s:

    1. Even with Technology, the correct call is not garaunteed.

    2. No Matter the process, it slows things down.

    3. Officials in sports with technology, in my view, erode in their quality. Be it that they get lazy or less keen knowing that the techs are there to save their bacon or what, i just see a general deterioration in the quality.

    Ole ‘Arry went on to see it all evens out in the end. Thinks hes right leave it be, just get competent officals and train and supervise them properly

  7. Anonymous

    October 2, 2006 at 2:48 am

    As in rugby & cricket where judgements are made via video only over whether the ball crossed the line (or other black and white decisions) should technology be used in football. As for more tricky ones like diving, there should be a panel that sits and reviews plays like DZ’s yesterday and though it would be too late to affect the result on the day he could be given say a 3 game ban or more. Managers would end up instructing players not to cheat as they are a fat lot of use sitting up in the stand merely worsening their reputation with the fans. It’s amazing how the beautiful game has moved on considerably in some ways but not kept up in others…


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