Video technology is a dirty word in football. The purists seem to think it will end the flow of the beautiful game as we know it. It’s as though a rewind and play button will instantly render the silky skills of Thomas Broich useless.
Granted, video technology is an imperfect solution to a ridiculous situation.
It can’t be implemented in an equitable fashion, but strangely that doesn’t mean it has no place in the game.
The only time it should be used is when there is already a natural break in the contest.
Mayhem erupted when referee Jarred Gillett sent the pea rattling around the chamber after Besart Berisha threw himself to the ground in the dying moments of the A-League grand final.
The Brisbane Roar striker had copped a feather touch on the way into the box, stepped on the left side of the ball with his left foot causing it to bobble up and then kicked thin air with his right before going to ground.
In the time it took for all of the arguing and celebrating on both sides to subside the call could’ve been reversed. The fourth official probably would’ve had time to go and make a cup of tea as well.
To continue to abstain from using video replays when a game has a natural pause just doesn’t make sense.
Unfortunately football fans and neutrals alike have crucified the sport and the whistleblower.
Gillett had to make a brave call in a very short amount of time. I believe it was the wrong one, but in real time he reacted to what he saw.
I’m sure he would’ve liked a second look given the implications. It doesn’t mean he would’ve changed his mind either. Still, he deserves to have the choice.
Doesn’t it seem odd that 50-thousand fans in the stadium and hundreds of thousands more watching on television can see it may have been a dubious call, but the men at the centre of the action can’t call upon something so basic?
Its use has to be selective. Having every free kick analysed would be infuriating, but it’s perfect for penalty calls. Most TV broadcasters have a monitor pitch side anyway and the fourth official is just metres away.
There’s also an argument that it would undermine the authority of the referee on the field. Is that reason enough to accept a questionable call?
It’s time football moved in to line with just about every other major sport in the world.
Technology should be embraced.
If the tears running down the face of Perth Glory owner Tony Sage after full-time didn’t convince you then nothing will.
Sage is a man who has pumped millions into the club and been abused and then accepted by the fans along the way.
He deserved a better outcome.
That doesn’t mean he deserved a win, but he was entitled to be fairly beaten.
Cricket has embraced third eye for an umpire, tennis has Hawkeye and rugby league and union the video referee and television match official.
Humans will make errors. That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean we have to accept them when a better option exists.