An experiment that was first tried in the Europa League both this year and last will now graduate to Europe’s elite competition. Two extra referees will be present in all Champions League ties coming up next season. The officials will be placed behind either goal, to correctly judge calls for handball, penalties, and disallowed goals.
Controversially, this experiment has received quite poor reviews. Time and again, even with the extra officials present, there have been seemingly wrong decisions made when one takes a look back at them on replay. The argument of goal-line technology will forever remain it seems, despite initiatives like this by UEFA to quell the unconvinced football fans all over the world.
Had these extra officials been present in this year’s competition, we may have seen an entirely different tournament. The first thing that came to mind when I first read this story, was Bayern Munich’s tie against Fiorentina, where Klose scored a ridiculously offside goal, and where Van Bommel and Klose should have been sent off for tackles that were as bad as any.
UEFAwill also be allowing domestic leagues to adopt the initiative, to further curb the margin of error by matchday officials.
UEFA’s official statement is as follows:
“The UEFA Executive Committee also agreed to propose to FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB), following the IFAB’s approval on May 18, 2010 of a further two years of experimentation with two extra additional assistant referees, that the UEFA Champions League 2010-11 as of the play-offs (last qualifying round before the Group Stage), the UEFA Europa League as from the Group Stage, the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying phase and final tournament, and the UEFA Super Cup 2010, be used for further trials for the use of two additional assistant referees.”
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