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FFA must lead world in video technology

Andrew Tilley Roar Rookie

By Andrew Tilley, Andrew Tilley is a Roar Rookie

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62 Have your say

    The beautiful game needs to embrace video technology. The atrocious penalty awarded to Brisbane Roar in the dying stages of the A-League grand final leave no room for argument.

    Brisbane striker Besart Berisha’s contrived tumble in the penalty area again shone the spotlight brightly on the administrators’ inability to grasp the importance of video technology.

    The incident on Sunday night has further undermined a fragile Football Federation Australia (FFA), whose credibility is falling further behind Australia’s other footballing codes.

    Had referee Jarred Gillett been able to refer the penalty decision to another match official viewing a replay of the incident, as millions of viewers at home were able to do from their couches seconds after the incident occurred, then the correct decision could have been made.

    The A-League, along with the FFA, could have been spared the embarrassment of an incident that has left a bitter taste in the mouths of Perth Glory fans and fans of football in this country alike.

    For too long the FFA, and other football federations around the world, have hid behind FIFA (the game’s international governing body) and its outdated belief that video technology would ruin the game.

    FIFA’s bone of contention when it comes to video technology – a word which they attempt to sidestep even more enthusiastically than ‘racism’ and ‘sexism’ within the sport – is centred around a theory that by getting more decisions right (through technology) we would de-humanise the sport, and fans would have fewer talking points after the game.

    Countering this argument is that there would still be officials and 22 players. All the drama, passion and skill would remain – just with a few minutes extra in matches to ensure that the correct decisions were made.

    And instead of debating incorrect refereeing decisions, fans could instead turn their discussions to tactical formations, amazing goals and brilliant saves, of which there are a plethora.

    The other argument made by video technology deniers is that it would disrupt the flow of a match and spoil it as a spectacle.

    Obviously no one wants to see a game based on fluidity constantly interrupted, but realistically games are held up anyway because contentious decisions often lead to on-pitch confrontations (which we saw on Sunday night).

    The referee has to stop the game to take further action to punish any dissent or violent conduct which inevitably ensues.

    FIFA’s opposition has begun to soften slightly, having agreed to trial the use of goal-line technology at the Club World Cup in Japan in December. Administrators in this country need to step up to the plate by introducing video technology for all penalty, offside, and goal-line referee decisions.

    It is time for the FFA to stop hiding behind FIFA. Yes, FIFA are the most powerful sporting body in the world, but the FFA and the A-League are losing the fight for sporting credibility as they seeks to establish football as one of the top codes in this country. T

    his is currently not possible as the A-League brings a knife to the gun-fight with the other big three competitions – NRL, Super Rugby and even the AFL – that now all utilise varying forms of video technology.

    These competitions, along with sports such as cricket and tennis (not to mention a host of other global sports), utilise the technology available to them because they want to assist their match officials in striving to ensure key decisions that can turn games, tournaments, or even seasons are made correctly.

    Given the nature of the sport of football, where a single goal is enough to win or lose the contest, it is even more confusing that the game’s administrators have not jumped on the video bandwagon.

    Video technology is ready and available and proven to be robust. Tests have shown it can work, so why aren’t we using it in this country?

    It is clear that the FFA, like most national administrators around the world, is frightened of upsetting FIFA. But what have we really got to lose by being a leader on this issue? It’s not like FIFA can take the hosting of a World Cup away from us.

    The FFA can no longer afford to sit on their hands. They must take a leadership role – ironically by following the vision shown by our country’s other football code administrators – and introduce video technology in next year’s A-League.

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    The Crowd Says (62)

    • April 30th 2012 @ 6:28am
      Bob said | April 30th 2012 @ 6:28am | ! Report

      Whilst your argument regarding video technology and it’s usage is valid and definetly worth having. However you have lost validity with your grand final example as video reply from behind ( the referees view) validated the referees decision.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 30th 2012 @ 5:07pm
        Andrew Tilley said | April 30th 2012 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

        Bob, the Berisha example was used because video technology was not available and it could have changed the result of the game. It is very hard to prove that there was contact on Berisha. Surely you need to be certain that there is contact before awarding a penalty.

    • April 30th 2012 @ 7:31am
      paul said | April 30th 2012 @ 7:31am | ! Report

      You can’t seriously still think this was a bad decision? Everyone who has any idea about football have come to decide it was a clear foul and in no way a dive? All this technology would have achieved was an unsure refs original call ruling. I’m all for goal line technology and maybe to review a contentious offside that has lead to a goal but that’s it. And if this was in place the roar would have played central coast because a Perth offside that was just off. Perth fans should feel lucky to be there at all rather than feel robbed!

      • Roar Rookie

        April 30th 2012 @ 5:14pm
        Andrew Tilley said | April 30th 2012 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

        Paul, I am neither a Brisbane fan or Perth fan – but I do love my football. I couldn’t see any conclusive evidence that Berisha was clipped. I believed the ref panicked. If he had the aid of video technology he could I have sent the decision ‘upstairs’ where it could have been reviewed. I don’t feel as though it would have been given a penalty with the lack of evidence on the clip.

        Technology would assist referees – as they have done in every other sport that uses some form of video technology. It good to see that you do believe in some forms of video technology. But why go with using it for offsides and not penalty decisions?

        • April 30th 2012 @ 5:43pm
          Titus said | April 30th 2012 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

          What more do you want than the visual evidence? Hotspot?

    • April 30th 2012 @ 7:37am
      nordster said | April 30th 2012 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      What % of even the most contentious ref calls would be overturned by a workable version of video review in football? I suggest proponents of this actually go back and watch games to see how and when it could be applied. It could be less than u might think. Replays are rarely that cut and dry and often only add to the ambiguity.

      And as a total number, how many are likely to be overturned? Maybe one every couple of games? One every couple of weeks? I think it would be interesting to do a posthumous review of a few months in a past season to see.

      “whose credibility is falling further behind Australia’s other footballing codes”

      sorry bro but … care factor = zero … we “hide” behind FIFA on this one (rightly imo) as they set the rules of football. We don’t want to end up playing some odd localised version now do we? 🙂

      • Roar Rookie

        April 30th 2012 @ 5:20pm
        Andrew Tilley said | April 30th 2012 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

        Nordster, video technology will certainly not assist in every case – but in most contentious cases a replay would certainly assist a referee/linesman.

        While I haven’t done a study on it (nor do I have the time to) I believe that video technology would make a difference in helping to get more decisions right – which is surely what we must be striving to do. In football, one goal, resulting from one incorrect decision, can decide a game.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 6:02am
          nordster said | May 1st 2012 @ 6:02am | ! Report

          i dunno, even only being a football fan for half my life, i’ve seen more occasions where the cameras just add more uncertainty than clarity. There is a subtlety and subjectivity to football officiating which i think is a bit more the case than other sports. The fact that others do it is part of your premise, but i don’t reckon its all that relevant tbh.

    • April 30th 2012 @ 8:14am
      jamesb said | April 30th 2012 @ 8:14am | ! Report

      “whose credibility is falling further behind Australia’s other footballing codes”

      thats got more to do with how the game is run from the FFA. It has nothing to do with whether Football needs video technology or not.

    • April 30th 2012 @ 8:22am
      brad_O said | April 30th 2012 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Hmmmmm but “THAT” penalty with the benifit of video replay was infact a correct decision.

    • April 30th 2012 @ 8:33am
      Futbanous said | April 30th 2012 @ 8:33am | ! Report

      “And instead of debating incorrect refereeing decisions, fans could instead turn their discussions to tactical formations, amazing goals and brilliant saves, of which there are a plethora”

      Discussions on a forum like this are not indicative of what the majority of dyed in the wool football fans think about nor do they procastinate about credibility & other sports.
      Most fans in fact think as you state above, about amazing goals, clever moves,defence splitting passes, or brilliant saves, thats why their attracted to the World Game in the first place . The rest just creates talking points.,controversy & FIFA would argue thats why they dont introduce video technology.
      Lets face it if controversial decisions mattered a jot to the credibility of football then German football would be an also-ran in Europe after the 1966 World Cup final & Geoff Hursts controversial goal,which is still talked about today 46 years later.
      Yet the Bundesliga draws the biggest average crowds in Europe & the German National team have gone on to be a major player in both World & European Cups since then.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 30th 2012 @ 5:27pm
        Andrew Tilley said | April 30th 2012 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

        Futbanous, while I take your point, mine is that if we decreased the amount of incorrect decisions made by officials then the media (commentators and journalists) could concentrate more on the fabulous goals, saves, etc rather than the decisions.

        How many articles written in the days after the A-League Grand Final were based on ‘that decision’ and how many were based on the Roar’s amazing comeback? The same goes for the time that the Fox commentators/news reporters spent talking straight after the game and the days that followed it.

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