It’s Time For Video Technology to be Introduced To Help Make Offside Decisions

What a mess I am in. Despite my love of modern tools, music and life, I have a broad traditionalist streak when it comes to my soccer. Then, despite my passion for Manchester United and my dislike of Liverpool and particularly Luis Suarez, I have to accept that this last weekend’s decisions were wrong and I will present a technology solution to them.

In both cases I can actually forgive/understand the assistant referee’s situation. They have to see or know when the ball was kicked AND look where the player is at that exact moment. In both cases (though perhaps less so with Arteta’s goal for Arsenal) the ball moved position so quickly that I have some sympathy for their decision making.

So my solution is – video technology for offside on goals. Whenever a goal is scored, the goal is given and the 4th official or new 5th official has time to review the video. If the player or players are determined to be offside, then the goal is disallowed. This could be done with some kind of signal or something more visible, and exciting, like a red/green flag system. Obviously this can only really be used in top flight games.

Now everyone I explain this to points out a flaw, but I have a response. The flaw they say is… what about moves where offside is called but it turns out that the player was not offside and a goal could have come from that move. To me this is easy and solved by human nature. If the referees know that the technology is going to give them the final decision on a goal, then they will be far less likely to make 50/50 subjective calls. A linesman should only call offside when he is 100% sure, yet we constantly see them making judgement calls (some would call them guesses). With this system they can rely on the the technology helping them if a goal is scored and if a goal is not scored there really is no harm.

I’m not really a fan of technology in football but I think anything that can stop the guessing that is occurring from match officials can only make things better. If you only do it for goals, then the big issues are corrected and the game is barely, if at all, delayed.

What do you think ?

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