Video technology needed to support football referees
Refereeing is one of the most highly scrutinized aspects of any game and football is no exception. Referees are generally the focus of player, coach, and supporter abuse.
Even the media likes to throw in their two cents.
Why is football one of the only codes in the world that doesn’t have a video referral system? It is in desperate need of it.
Human error is something we can guarantee and, just like any other sport, football and its referees are no different.
Referees can misjudge hand-ball rulings, off-sides and, more importantly, penalty rulings.
In any game or situation referees are under a certain amount of pressure.
Knowing that at any moment one could make a mistake and impact the outcome of the game, one’s focus on the game is bound to be influenced.
An example of these kinds of circumstances was in the A-League grand final when, in the dying minutes, the referee made an incredibly bold decision of a penalty that affected the final score.
Referee Jarred Gillett called a penalty in the seventh minute of injury time in the final between the Perth Glory and the Brisbane Roar.
It caused an uproar in not only the stands, but in every household, restaurant and pub around Australia.
In a call that was clearly a misinterpretation of the play, the fans were on their feet and the players were in his face. And rightfully so.
The call was so clearly wrong and took away the opportunity for Perth to win a grand final they justly deserved.
In this situation a video referral should be a viable option for the coach or captain of the infringing team.
A video referral is a necessary way for referees to either prove that the call they made was correct, or a way for them to accept accountability and change their decision without resulting with a negative effect on the game.
In a game such as a grand final, we see added pressure on referees to get everything right.
So why not assist them by giving them a back-up option if they’re not quite sure of the decision they originally made.
A referee’s call may be a judgement, but the decision to stick by that call even if it is wrong is something that will earn them criticism.
They will possibly blamed for if a team then goes on to lose.
Introducing video technology will minimise the outcries against referees and therefore increase the positivity and sportsmanship throughout the game.