Time to Use Technology to aid the Soccer Referee

FIFA claims that they are ‘powerless to punish the 1998 World Cup winning striker because their rules forbade them to take action if the original misdemeanor had not been seen by the match officials.’

For an organization that may demand up to $100million dollars of broadcasting rights from any country for the coming World Cup in South Africa, it really is indeed a fiasco to be deemed ‘powerless’ under such circumstances. The truth is that, this kind of controversy will never be happening only if FIFA adopted what so many other professional sports has adopted, that’s make use of video replay technology to assist their soccer referees to referee their games. Only the highest rungs in FIFA and God will know what is keeping probably the most populous game adopting technology to improve the game.

Many traditional critics argue that refereeing in soccer should remain status quo, so that the human error aspects of the overall game remain as part of the game. At the very top, FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, is really a strong opponent to using any technology to aid the soccer referee. In this modern day, traditional people like Blatter should be replaced to move the sports forward.

In truth, FIFA could be held responsible for all your refereeing controversies which has ensue during the last century. Things got worse within the last 2 decades after instant video replay technology allow television to broadcast all poor refereeing decisions immediately to the world to see. How will you blame managers, players and fans from becoming enraged if they visit a legitimate penalty been denied by soccer referees? Or a poor offside decision by the soccer referee that led to the eventual game winner? Worse, all these refereeing decisions has resulted in real instances of life and death, when referees who made crucial mistakes received death threats and are forced retire.

Remember Anders Frisk, the soccer referee from Sweden in 2005 following the contentious match between Barcelona and Chelsea in the Champions League? He was forced to give up after some poor decisions made that caused Chelsea to lose the eventual tie. In his own words, ”it’s not worth carrying on….My safety and the safety of my children goes before anything else. These last few weeks have been the worst of my entire life.” Soccer lost a very good referee that day. Can we blame him? Or the Jose Morinho who led that publicity assault against his poor performance? FIFA must take a significant part of the responsibility as well.

The scary thing is that this type of anti-referee stuff is also taking shape at the youngest age groups. Refereeing resources already are tight, and at the lowest and youngest degree of competitive soccer, young players and managers are also learning from what they see on television to openly challenge the soccer referee’s decisions and cause disputes. It has become acceptable to lambaste the referee whether he made the proper or wrong call, based on which side you supported. This will not speak well of the game. What sort of sportsman ship are we teaching our youths? What type of refereeing standards do we hope to raise if the soccer referees’ job continue to be the loneliest one on the planet?

FIFA will always support the soccer referee’s decision, right or wrong. But this sort of backing will not offer practice support for referees at all levels. What referees need can be an understanding from all they are human and that they can make mistakes. If these mistakes can be rectified at the right time in a match through technology and appeals, the footballing crowds won’t become overzealous in condemning poor refereeing standards. Technology allows that to be done, but sadly, authority will not. Wake up FIFA, before someone really gets killed because of a poor refereeing decision. It will not arrived at that stage. Football is a beautiful game after all.

Jimmy Tong has been a Physical Educator for 13 Years in Singapore, with degree in sports science and physical education from Loughborough University in UK. He’s got extensive coaching experience in soccer, floorball and rugby teams in Singapore Schools.He is currently a sports development officer in Singapore schools and a dynamic contributor of sports training articles to improve sports performance in athletes. 해외축구중계 hopes make it possible for people’s success ahead by inspiring them with true sports motivational and inspirational stories.


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