There should be video replays for refs in football

Last updated: March 2, 2017

The debate over video technology within football has raged for years, with FIFA still obstinately refusing to even trial it even though many other sports having welcomed more advanced systems to make certain that big decisions are called correctly. Surely Sepp Blatter's refusal to modernise detracts from such an immensely popular sport?

There should be video replays for refs in football
Yes because...

FIFA autocrats leave football in the dark ages

The world can only pray that after Sepp Blatter saw with his own eyes the fruits of his anachronistic efforts to isolate football from advancing technology that he may change his mind. England v Germany in the last 16 of the world cup, Frank Lampard scores from outside the box to level the game at 2-2, everyone but two Uruguayans saw the ball bounce a clear yard over the line and yet the goal did not stand, at a pivotal point in one of FIFA's show piece knock-out games. The decision to disallow the goal further solidifies the view of fans, players, managers and ex-professionals alike that goal line technology must be introduced immediately. Sadly this is not an isolated incident. Pedro Mendes obvious goal at Old Trafford which wasn't given is a prime example for the archives. In fact, video technology would have saved us all from Jose Mourinho's incessant whining over the 'ghost goal' at Anfield in the Champions League by Luis Garcia. Even this season, Crystal Palace had a goal ruled out after it had actually gone in the net and bounced out. They lost two points because the man who mattered did not see the ball go in the net, and if Palace had not beaten Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the season, they would have been relegated because of it. Given Palaces' dire financial situation, this refereeing blunder could have relegated them, leading to the club almost certainly being liquidated. We know Mr. Blatter feels that all these goal line controversies are good for the game, as they arouse conversation and debate, but try telling that to a supporter of your local club who misses out on promotion, is relegated or fails to win a cup because we do not have the option to use video replays. However frustrating it is, referees are humans and they do make mistakes, that is why like other sports such as Cricket, Rugby, Aussie rules football and tennis, we should embrace video technology, at first just goal line technology which has been proven to be efficient and inexpensive to do. However, we may have to wait until Mr. Blatter's long anticipated retirement until we see any positive progress towards a more fair and modern way of refereeing.
No because...
Goal line technology is expensive; when FIFA is cutting down on ball quality to budget adding more frivolous expenses is not an idea they could care less for, realistically speaking.

This year's World Cup is a joke (bad balls, bad judgments, bad referees) and using high tech means to determine how funny it is will only further embarrass the organizing board, but it goes beyond that. The fact that referees are humans too and that they could make mistakes does not change the fact that they're the ones who are in charge of the game. If they made mistakes, then they should not make another. If people have poor quality refs, then there should be a better ref academy. The idea is not to add stuff, but to find out what's wrong with the current situation people are having. Besides, there still can be multiple interpretations on a video, especially if a decision has to be made in the middle of a game, which means there won't be enough time to analyze what happened. Who is going to see and make the call from seeing the video? The people watching or the ref? Of course we can't hand it to the people watching, there'd be endless debate over both sides of the teams competing. If eventually the ref will make the call anyway, then why blame the ref for the mistakes at the first place? Refs should be more professional, not given a reason to slack off and rely on cameras.

There should be video replays for refs in football
Yes because...

Only in Top Class football - make a monitor available to the match officials for replay of 'ball over the goal line' incidents only.

Goals are the ultimate measure of success in Top Class football competitions. If it is a Top Class game then it will be covered by a TV/media production company. They can provide the robust technology as part of their contract with whichever football authority negotiated the match coverage. The production company can make a monitor available to the match officials for replay of 'ball over the goal line' incidents only. This solution will provide the Benefit at no/little extra cost to the football authority/club. If the game is not important enough to be of interest to the media then it is not a Top Class game by default and the match officials continue as before without the technology. Outside of Top Class football, debates about referees decisions are part of the unique culture of football for both players and supporters alike.
No because...
First of all the idea that it should be only for the replays of 'ball over the goal line' is strange--cameras don't discriminate, and if you've already set a camera on it it's bound to tape everything, so there really is no use of limiting it to certain incidents only. Second of all, this idea once again discriminates by only proposing the usage of the camera in top class football, aka very important matches. So what happens with the other matches? What's the criteria for a 'top class' match? To the people of Liverpool then all Liverpool matches are top matches, are they not? There really shouldn't be any differentiation between one match and another, because what we're arguing is the merits of a video replay for refs.

There should be video replays for refs in football
No because...

Video replays would take away from the entertainment

The reason why football is so popular is because it is entertaining. If we were to be honest, we love the rule that referee's decision is final. We love to hate the referee. We enjoy the feeling of luck when it goes our way, and we love to moan when it does not go our way.

So, whether we win or lose the game, we are entertained. To put video replays in football would deny us of this pleasure, and it would be to the detriment of the entertainment value of watching football.

We may not feel good about our loss but we are moved by it, thus entertained.

And there is enjoyment in mourning and yelling over a united cause. It gives people a reason to get together,rant,drink and have a good time. Targeting the referee, doodling a funny mustache on his photographs; sticking his face on a punching bag ... that sort of thing, proves to be very (immature) enjoyable.

Who do you cuss when goal line technology boots your team? All the anger over any such unchallengeable loss would be pent up without relief and may cause serious problems later.
Yes because...
Playing games is not entertaining when there are cheats lurking in the midst. Try telling England fans that referee decisions are entertaining in football. None of them would have been entertained on Sunday. Far from it. They would have been devastated and would have felt cheated. Where is the enjoyment in such despair?
In addition, in rugby and tennis, the entertainment is increased so why not bring this into football.

There should be video replays for refs in football
No because...

Football is really about showmanship, not sport

Rugby uses video replays because it is a proper sport with defined rules and real team tactics. Football differs to this. It is no coincidence that most footballers are good looking. Football is much like a film. It is filled with drama and actors. From the diving players, to the aggressive players, to the heroic captain even to the manager on the side of the pitch overreacting to the smallest of knocks or opportunities; football is all about acting. The ref plays a part in this. To add video refereeing would take away this part and would make football an incomplete display of showmanship.

We want them to look good not bad. And the point above is all about preserving the drama of the game rather than turning it into something calculated which it isn't relative to Rugby.
Yes because...
Football is a sport; one of the most popular. There are complex rules – such as the offside rule. There are tactics, such as wing goals and defensive play. To menial football as mere showmanship shows a severe non-comprehension of the game in hand.

Besides – if footballers are all actors, surely we should have a camera to catch all the misdemeanours on tape and to rectify.

There should be video replays for refs in football
No because...

Football is political and we love to analyse

The enjoyment of football is not just about the sport itself; we love the politics behind the scenes of football. In another sport, the transfers and team signings do not make big news. In football however, the transfer windows are big media hype. We want to know which club has got which players. We like to assess why managers would pick certain players over others. Most of all, we love to pass judgment on the referees decisions and his political motives behind them. Did he have an ulterior motive? Or should we complain that he is too far sighted to be a referee. Either way, we love delving into the politics. Politics isn’t perfect and neither is football. But if we marginalized the referees role, we would marginalize the political element in football, and this would make the game less analytical.
Yes because...
Putting in a football equivalent of a third umpire wouldn't hurt the entertainment value of the game; put enrich it further.

Given the current whoopsie daisy world cup we are experiencing, we badly need a viable save. Something that would bring the beloved game back to her glory day gusto.

All sports require credible judges for them to be taken seriously. Fairness is key.

Football is not a soap opera and the ensuing movement towards it becoming that must be stopped in its tracks. We're tired of tabloids,scandal and glamor/glamour. We want to see some action; we love the game. Can we have our game back?

There should be video replays for refs in football
No because...

It would ruin football’s simplicity and non-exclusivity.

Why is it that has football been able to spread world wide? How come footballers can come from rich and/or poor countries? In fact, Brazil are so good at introducing new players to the field because children play on beaches! If we were to suddenly add goal line technology to the game, this would ruin the simplicity and availability of the game for many people. Rugby is seen as a middle class sport. Schools need to have money in order to be able to host tournaments for their pupils. With football this is not the case. All you need is a ball and an open space. Poorer countries would be marginalized from football if we started making it a sport based around technology.
Yes because...
No one is suggesting that children playing on beaches and the streets start using goal line technology.

There is a third umpire in cricket; that doesn't stop Pakistani boys everywhere from playing cricket on the road, in parks etc. They don't use super expensive safety equipment or uniforms either.

The same is the case with rugby; high-school/college football isn't normally played using high fidelity technology but it is ubiquitous. There are human referees.

Point is there is a huge amount of money thrown into the game and sentiments are at risk; the least consolation that world cup organizers can offer fans is the promise/guarantee of fairness.

Where has anyone suggested that hi-tech video camera's be a legal must on a beach in Brazil or a field in Ghana. We are talking about high importance matches. The only downside I can see is that the game would stop every 2 minutes as players challenge decisions - but this could be got round as they do in tennis by limiting the number of challenges to say 3 or 4. Video technology is already used for rescinding yellow/red cards or banning players where fouls are considered dangerous, where the officials have not seen the incident. This is not available to teams in lower divisions, so there is already an injustice in the system.

There should be video replays for refs in football
No because...

England cannot complain now.

Another world cup sees England’s hopes dashed for a repeat of 1966. But was history altogether not repeated? In that 1966 game, it was against West Germany. The winning goal was allowed to stand even though there was confusion as to whether the ball crossed the line in that scenario or not. History has repeated itself avertedly; history has taken back that goal. England did not then complain and whine for video refereeing, so why should they now?
Yes because...
It is never too late to demand prime quality and real justice.

This World cup is the worst world cup to date; what with the weird ball and statistics. Somebody got up and decided to absolutely desecrate the face of football and now we're all angry at the referee because he makes the final call and is not value neutral, being human and everything.

If we had goal line technology our reaction would be less crazy and more rational.

What absolute nonsense on the right. How could anyone complain about a technology that didn't even exist. The game has moved into a different dimension altogether in the past 40 years or so (how many players in what was then Div 1 came from abroad - very few - but that's a different debate!)

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