Thursday, 19 November 2009

A chance for FIFA to clean up football

The handball by Henri that has robbed the Republic of Ireland of a World Cup place is the worst piece of cheating I have ever seen. It far outstrips Maradona's hand of God incident because to this day I can't still clearly see if Maradona handled or not. But in this case Henri is clearly seen controlling the ball. What's more he also deliberately fooled the officials by running away and celebrating the "goal" whilst the Irish were protesting. If FIFA want to clean up the game then
all they have to do is declare the result void, award the game to the Irish and ban Henri for one year. That would send out a clear message to every player that has fallen over trying to win a penalty or deliberately feigned a foul to gain an advantage, that the game is up. Henri should be stripped of his advertising contract by Gillette too. Unless FIFA intend to take such action then I suggest they stop lecturing everyone else on the subject of honesty in the game.

47 comments:

  1. You don't really expect FIFA to take any action do you?

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  2. Tony - what a great idea - it so simple, and it would certainly work. Shame that it will not happen in a million years. FIFA are just spineless, and of course they don't want to see a team like France outof the World Cup.

    Steve.

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  3. It used to be rugby union that was run by useless old farts; now it's football. We will move into enlightened days of technology (instant TV replay!!!) before long but, as with rugby and cricket, the reactionary old farts have to be kicked out first so don't hold your breath.

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  4. Great idea, won't happen !! As to not seeing Maradona come on. The guy had his hand in the air above his head. We were given a penalty against us for less the other day.

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  5. FIFA changed the rules to seed playoff games once they realised that the glamorous teams like France & Portugal could possibly draw each other and consequently guarantee one is knocked leaving their flag ship tournament with minnows like Ireland. Henri cheating as he did served FIFA's purpose, so do you really imagine they are going to do anything stronger that make disapproving tutting noises about it? As for technology, if it's introduced it will remove any possibility of the powers that be to 'influencing' results. Referees can make 'mistakes' remember. The same cannot be relied on with TV replays. FIFA/UEFA and football in general is a corrupt business interested in its real God, MONEY. It's only we fans that still delude ourselves that it is an honourable Sport. Henri, so admired by so many, myself included, has now tarnished his reputation forever. His credibility will only be further damned if he tries to excuse his actions as 'unintentional' when he clearly and blatently cheated in an attempt to put his own self interest and pursuit of personal glory above sportsmanships very essence of fair which the game, ironically, purports to uphold.

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  6. No, of course I don't expect it to happen, but what I would like to see is the French team booed to the rafters by every fair minded fan at the World Cup for the full 90 minutes of every game that they take part in. The French team knew they cheated the Irish and could have let them score at the other end to see fair play done. As Mariustheancient pointed out, the odds were stacked against the Irish from the momment that it was clear some of the top teams may not make it. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth City joining the elite few in football. If the end result means winning at any cost, stamping all over ever other club and fans of those clubs. As an Irish fan said when interviewed "The French can have their World Cup, we want no part of it" Look on the bright side though you Irish fans, you are best out of it as you would only have been cheated at some point in the finals in favour of one of the big boys and you saved yourself the expense of travelling to what is little more than a money making circus.

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  7. Very laudible, Tony and couldn't agree more. However, the other guys are right to say it won't happen.

    Frankly, I have to say that much of the sympathy I had for the Irish last night has been diluted today by the likes of Trapatoni and St Ledger refusing to blame Henry, preferring to criticise the referee, who I thought was excellent and probably let down by his assistant.

    Ronnie Whelan and Alex McLeish were just the same last night, refusing to condemn the saintly Henry because he's a pro. Sickening!

    I used to love Henry but over the last 4 or 5 years he's been revealed as a preening prima donna. Whilst I don't think Maradonna's crime is in doubt, I find Henry's denial that his handball was deliberate worse than the offence itself. For this reason I agree it is worse than the Argentinian's. He should certainly be charged with ungentlemanly conduct or bringing the game into disrepute - and banned from MEANINGFUL internationals ie. World Cup matches and not just friendlies.

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  8. Don't know about you guys, but I felt more devastated for Richard Dunne than anyone else.
    I must confess that his reaction to the patronising Henry after the match was a magnificent tribute to both himself and his Country. Personally,I would have twatted Henry across the nose.
    Regarding the handball: in Rugby Union the referee would have asked the Fourth Official:
    "Is there any reason why I can't award a Try?"
    It's not rocket science, but FIFA and UEFA have only just discovered the light bulb

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  9. "to this day I can't still clearly see if Maradona handled or not"

    Wow.

    Not sure if such a statement even warrant a comment.

    Sir, your not been able to see something clearly or not does not vindicate its veracity.

    What Henry done was stupid. He admitted it afterwards (unlike Maradonna).

    What Henry did was not at all different from what many English(all European as well) blokes do all the time. Gerrard against Argentina? I don't remember anyone asking for his head then? Rooney?

    How about stamping cheating out all together? Retrospectively? Why should only the current offenders been punished?

    The only solution to this is not have 5 or 10 or 600 referees on the ground, but technology. It's high time its implemented. Almost all the other sports have implemented it in some way or the other. Can you imagine cricket without the 3rd Umpire. Football can not continue to stay behind. It has to evolve.

    The media hype around the whole Henry debacle is hysterical. I would have like to have seen the reaction had England been the perpetrator. And don't tell me that the good 'ol English would never do something like that.

    It's idiots like you who are equally responsible for going over the top. "1 year ban". That's the stupidest idea I have ever heard. By your logic shouldn't Adebayor been put behind bars for 'assaulting' van Persie?

    What Henry did was disgraceful. No one can deny that. Yes, it will tarnish some of his image. But he's not the first person to cheat and he certainly wouldnt be the last. Unless atleast technology starts playing a bigger role.

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  10. What's the point of a fourth official if he can't spot important incidents like this. Why don't we have a fifth, sixth, seventh and eigth official standing at either side of the goal? We could also have a ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth official at each corner flag. Even crown green bowling will introduce TV technology before football does.

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  11. What I meant by "to this day I can't still clearly see if Maradona handled or not"
    is that THAT particular incident was not 100% clear, this one was clear and Henri cheated..

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  12. No one is arguing as to whether Henry (spelled with a 'y', but you know that) cheated or not. My comment was just regarding everone reaction to it.

    How do you justify a one year ban? Just because Ireland got knocked out? Had it been a game between say Man City and Blackburn. Where in one of your blokes dived to win a match? Would that qualify for a one year ban? Or not, because the game was played between 2 meaningless mid table clubs? What is the yardstick for such a ban?

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  13. and this was the man who said that we and Ade didn't have any class!!!!!!!!

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  14. And whatever do you mean by "not 100% clear". Maradona has (now) admitted that he cheated. How can it not be 100% clear.

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  15. Right let's get this straight. Firstly I apologise for spelling Henry's name wrong. I don't know why, but I could have sworn he spelt it with an i on the end, I must be thinking of someone else. Secondly the difference between the Maradona incident was that he only recently admitted it. At the time he played daft and left people to make their own conclusions. The TV footage didn't clearly show that he had handled and even the still footage was grainy. So if you wanted to be kind to Maradona you could say that the evidence was inconclusive and it was understandable that the referee and linesmen missed it, if TV couldn't even catch it clearly. But the same can not be said for Henry. He handled and clearly gained an advantage from it. This was not just a game between Blackburn and Bolton. This was a World Cup qualifier involving the nation where one of the senior FIFA officials (Platini and I don't care if it is spelt right or not) comes from Furthermore he is an official who has been lercturing everyone about fair play and respect. No I wouldn't be happy if a City player did what he did. To this day I check the video footage to see if I can tell for definate whether Shaun Goater handled the ball into the net or it came off his chest in the play off game in '99 against Wigan. But then I am a sad git. Personally Zimmermann I can't understand why you are defending him Henry.

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  16. After my third attempt at sifting through the grammatical and spelling errors, I've finally discovered what the Rag is trying to suggest.
    Unfortunately, the referee didn't enjoy that luxury.
    Despite his tedious attempts at ridicule, he does have a point.
    I don't recall Robbie Keane correcting the ref at White Hart Lane last Season when Spurs were awarded a penalty for a non existent foul by Richards on Campbell. It was a vital penalty for Spurs and Keane obviously didn't feel too embarassed about taking the kick.

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  17. True Neil, but I feel that football at international level is no different to football at the domestic level, ie geared toward the big club. Zimmerframe's comments sound like they come from a person who has never had any injustices against his team, I was coming to the conclusion he was a rag myself. As we have had similar incidents go against us many times in the past, I do feel for the Irish. The French would probably have won the game on penalties and if the game was replayed, there is no way they will play as badly again. But the fact is football is already heavily loaded against the little guy as it is. If the so called top players have to cheat to ensure that that the big team ALWAYS wins, then what's the point.

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  18. As Maradona has publicly admitted he handled the ball only a few diehard Scots would ever debate the issue,but if he had not "confessed"(hence his "hand of God remark made not long after the incident) the video evidence would not be conclusive.
    I think that now that the principle of taking retroactive action has been established,logically there is no reason why some punishment could not be given out, but of course International (and domestic)football has it's own agendas which seldom include justice and fairplay.
    Martin Samuels and Graham Poll have suggested a scheme whereby a player is asked the question by the referee, for example, did you handle the ball? and if video evidence proves otherwise, give him a 6 match ban this would give the cheats liars and conmen that blight the beautiful game something to think about.
    I think extra officials especially around the 18 yard box would help, although as momentary blindness seems to affect some officials(I can recall a game against Spurs when that lovable rogue Joey Barton was left unconcious outside the 18 yard box when,I think, Robbie Keane scored,this would not be the ultimate solution but I think it would aid the referee.My sympathies go out to the Irish who were denied a place in the World Cup finals by a cheat.

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  19. Again, you seem to have misunderstood the purpose of my comment. At no point am I defending Henry. Any form of cheating needs to be codemned. But was what he did any different from what happens day in day out in the premiership? From diving to claiming false throw in's or corner kicks? They are all forms of cheating arn't they? We can't be asking for replays or bans everytime.

    My point is that the reaction has been over the top. Duff just came out admitting that he would have done the same at the other end. I doubt the reaction would have been similar.

    Sure go ahead, chastise Henry. But there's no need for vilifying him for something that happens in almost game. Granted that this was a 'big' game. But that doesnt mean its any more of an offence than had it happened in another game.

    If only have the time be spent on debating as to whether videos replays should come into picture,

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  20. Zimmerman, just because cheating is rife does not make it acceptable,if a player thought he may get punished for any obvious form of cheating it would act as a deterrent don't you think.
    Tony, a correction.The full admission from Maradona was made in 2005 although the religious allusion was made not long after the game.

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  21. Morning Steve and everyone else. I seem to recall that Maradona's full admission did not come till much later, but wasn't the "Hand of God" quote made directly after the incident. This was his response at the time to a reporter when asked if he had handled. Neither that incident or Henry's can be excused, I just think that Henry was so much more blatant. Also it was captured by cameras from about five different angles.

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  22. And there was me thinking Zimmerman was getting involved in some meaningful debate... Until revealing true colours with his "2 meaningless mid-table clubs" dig.

    Thought Tony's post was him expressing an opinion about cheating, which had nothing whatsoever to do with his club loyalties. Similarly, I don't believe any of the interim comments mentioned MCFC or MU.

    You have every right to disagree but if you can't resist the temptation to bore us with totally unrelated and unnecessary sarcasm, I think we'd all rather you just clear off.

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  23. Ok, first of all, apologies for the 'mid table' comment. Uncalled for.

    Secondly, I don't understand why some folks think I'm defending 'cheating'. Far from it. What he did deserves condemnation.

    But I do think it's unfair to make an example out of Henry because he happened to 'cheat' in a very important game. Whereas the same goes unnoticed in many other games. That's like saying that the punishment for murdering an 'important poerson' is life. But if you're murdering say an otherwise unknown chap, well it's ok. No need to own up in that case.

    Now that won't be fair would it. So instead of channelising all out energies towards vilifying Henry, its time to seriously consider way to stamp of cheating. And the way forward is not to make an example of one or two individuals.

    The Owens, Gerrards, Rooney's et all are hardly every critised. As in the case Neil mentioned. Keane was never asked to 'own' up. So what I'm actually pointing towards is this media bias against foriegn players and teams. I seriously doubt if the reaction would have been this hysterical had an English player done something similar against the French. Why, we all might have just been having a laugh at the French. But Henry cheating against the Irish. No way. The honest, brave Irish. This media agenda is what I've been trying highlight.

    Again, what Henry did can not be defended. But the reaction would lead you to believe that he's first person since Maradona to have cheated.

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  24. Fair enough Zimmerman, I think we agree that cheating is unacceptable, I can only say from my point of view, when players at the level of Galacticos such as Henry, Ronaldo etc deliberately cheat, it seems worse than when a player from Norwich does it. Also as Mariustheancient pointed out earlier the Irish have been stitched up by Platini and Blatter, so this incident sticks in the throat more. I get the feeling that had Henry picked up the ball, walked the length of the field and thrown the ball passed Shay Given, a goal would still have been given. In football there is a pecking order, just as there is in life, with those players who play for the elite clubs allowed to get away with stuff the others can't. Their managers are allowed to say things that other managers can't. If it had been Damian Duff who did what Henry did, believe me, one of the officials would have spotted an infringement. Just in the same way a few years back, Wycombe (I think) were disallowed a perfectly good goal against Middlesborough in the FA Cup semi final as that would have mad the score 3-1 to them and almost certainly got them to the final. The FA didn't want that, they wanted two premiership sides contesting the money spinner. But I suppose we are moving on to a different topic now - Is football Bent?

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  25. From a slightly different angle, I was trying to remember when City last had an absolutely diabolical decision in their favour. By diabolical, I don't mean an iffy offside decision or a soft penalty. I'm talking about blatant cheating or goals in the Gary Crosby mode. Balls punched into the goal or goals not given when the ball was clearly over the line.
    Not surprisingly, it was in the lower divisions when we were the big fish in a small pond. Anyone remember the Negoui handball against Rotherham? I seem to recall Ronnie Moore complaining about the referee being influenced by the home crowd.

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  26. Neil.I remember the handball goal by Negoui I was at the match and cheered what appeared a good goal. Maybe it'selective memory but for that one moment in our favour I could probably name 9 or 10 absurd decisions that went against us and would be fairly certain that Tony with almost total Man City recall could name many more.

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  27. I too was at the Rotherham game and to be perfectly honest from where I was sat in the main stand, I couldn't tell it was handball. There have been one or two incidents that spring to mind. Like the season before against Wallsall at Maine Road when our equiliser, scored by the Goat was a little fortunate to stand. A few seconds earlier Big Bob Taylor smashed into the goalkeeper, causing him to drop the ball into Goater's path. I really expected the referee to blow for a free kick and was amazed he allowed th goal to stand. The Goat's chested goal against Wigan was highly dubious, but the difference for us is that when we get that little bit of luck, it rarely makes a difference. For example against West Ham in our relegation season under Joe Royle, we were beating WHam 1-0 when their forward, DiCanio I think missed an open goal in the last minute from three yards out and we went on to win the game 1-0, but it made no difference because the other relegation strugglers also won. But Steve is right, without looking at things through blue tinted specs, I can remember only a few incidents all through my City supporting life where things have gone ridiculously right for us. but I could run off hundreds of incidents where we were the victims of very poor decisions or terrible luck. That was what was so amazing about the Gillingham play-off game and to a degree, the Blackburn game a year later and why blues will never forget those games, we should never have won either. But of course we paid for those victories the following season. Remember us battering Tottenham at Maine Road only to lose to a last minute goal - the only Tottenham attack of the match.

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  28. Agreed on all points, but they were mainly games that involved outrageous pieces of good fortune, as opposed to goals that shouldn't have been allowed.
    My main arguement was that City's good fortune arrived when we were the biggest Club in the lower divisions. In the Premier league it's always the John Terry blatant handballs and the two footed challenges by Steven Gerrard that go unpunished, or United getting away with the Mendes goal that never was.
    Can anyone remember the game at Highbury in the early 70s when Bob McNab punched a Francis Lee header over the bar. It was on Match of the Day and the City players went bezerk. If memory serves me right the referee was Gordon Hill and Jimmy Hill proposed TV technology. Some things never change..

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  29. I see what you mean. That Arsenal game was featured on the "City in the 70's" video from a few yeras back and it is difficult to see how the referee missed that handball.

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  30. I know we are drifting away from the main point which was cheating and while I do not recall the Bob Mcnab incident, Neil I do recall Pascal Chimboda punching the ball in the net quite blatantly for Spurs I think,two seasons ago in a cup game,which was as with Henry's goal an example of cheating and inept officiating.I have doubts about technology being a practical solution and personally would like to see more officials and the retroactive banning for cheating.

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  31. Can someone explain why we can't follow the Rugby Union example:
    Solely for goals, the referee contacts the fourth official (studying a TV Monitor) and asks:
    "Is there any reason why I can't award a goal?"
    The fourth official replies:
    " Yes. That cheating French poseur has just handled the ball twice and there was another guy offside in the buil-up. No wonder the Irish keeper is going mad"
    Okay, I'm exaggerating to make a point, but it really is that simple.

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  32. Nice to see the air cleared with Zimmerman and a return to civility. I have to agree there has been something of an over reaction and as I said earlier, I lost a lot of sympathy for the Irish when even their own officials implied wouldn't blame Henry.

    My initial anger certainly had nothing to do with nationality but I admit it was unbalanced. This was due entirely to the Godlike status bestowed on Henry by the English football community, which I felt he gave up his right to on Wednesday night. He's tarnished his reputation by refusing to admit he deliberately handled.

    I gather FIFA have ruled out the use of technology because the same facilities would not be available for all the 800-odd qualifying matches that take place. What utter nonsense.

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  33. Glyn: I heard the same excuse, but if Rugby can save the technology for the big games then why can't football follow suit?
    I wouldn't mind, but every man and his dog knows that technology got Zidane sent off in the World Cup Final.
    Perhaps it needed a travesty of justice in such an important match for something to finally get sorted.

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  34. As somebody said either earlier in this discussion or at some time in the past. The FA s made up of a bunch of old farts. They can just about decide which of SAF's arse cheek they will kiss, but ask them to get involved with anything as vulgar as new technology, forget it. If you had told me twenty years ago that cricket would embrace new tech before football I wouldn't have believed you.

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  35. 34 comments and counting. Has Tony created a KK blog record here? (And not even about City!)

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  36. Neil.regarding the use of replay technology when the ball is dead officials can look at replays and make a decision that would could work,although it would affect the tempo of the game, but what if one side screams at the referee for a penalty does he stop play even though he thinks it was not a penalty knowing that if a replay proves he is wrong his job may be on the line and if the players are wrong how does he restart the game or does he wait until the ball is dead which could mean the ball being in the net at the other end before letting the video ref decide.
    The technology works ok in sports like tennis and cricket because there are natural breaks but I could see chaos ensuing if used in football.

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  37. Half Time at Anfield. I remember a friend of mine using the same argument against video technology when we had a conversation about it - in the 80's. I do see problems, but it would depend on how it was used. Incidents where a goal has been scored, the ball goes through the side netting and no goal given, will be a thing of the past. Equally if a serious foul has been committed and the referee misses it, VT can be studdied and the 10th official can tell the referee during a break in play and the offender punished. The British government for years refused to have a national lottery as they argued it would promote gambling, even though almost every other country in the world had one. They eventually agreed and when they saw how much money could be made, within ten years there are about ten lottery draws a week plus endless scratch cards. VT deserves a trial period at least and with figures such as Fergie and Wenger throwing their weight behind it, who knows. Of course if you want to look at the sinister side, then it suits the FA not to have VT so that referees can continue to be bias towards the top four, ensuring that decisions go there way. Back to the second half - Come on City, you were shite in the first half and what has happened to SWP?

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  38. Brilliant second half, well done boys and it looks like my half time pep talk to SWP has worked.

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  39. Tony.I was discussing football technology with an amateur football referee and the main problem will always be waiting for a break in play,a lot could happen between the incident and a stoppage ,even a goal or a penalty decision ,I am not an old dinosaur with technophobia who regards the rules of the game as sacrosanct to be preserved at any cost.I would like to see fair play for all but remain to be convinced that replay reviews could be made to work.I would like to see some kind of technology for offside decisions,I do think that we should have at least two more line officials and would also like to have a time keeper to give a correct assesment of extra time including time added on when the ball is dead,yes we would have some longer games but it would be fairer.
    As for the Liverpool game starting to play when we are a goal down worries me and the irony is we can really play when provoked,and yes Liverpool were there for the taking.I thought SWP had a good game but started to flag at the end.

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  40. I agree about the problem of when to stop the game Steve, but whoever is watching the monitor will make that decision. If a goal has been scored and it was off side, he will immediately tell the referee via radio link. If a foul has been committed that the referee didn't see and it is not possible to stop the game, then at least the offender can be punished during the next break. If an incident occured like Henry's handball where several players are claiming handball, then the VT could be called upon before kick off. Like I say, I agree that it isn't straight forward, but other sports have introduced VT and no doubt at some point people were saying it couldn't be done, but is now commonplace.

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  41. Tony.All the sports where technology has been sucsessful as far as I can see have natural breaks, tennis, cricket,(rugby is more stop than start). I would like to see extra officials tried out if only on an experimental basis, the one linesman per side has always seemed absurd to me and other sports like tennis have more officials with less to watch out for than football referees. I think that anyone who loves this beatiful game agrees that something has to be done,goals that are not goals and vice versa cheating, absurd refereeing decisions only provide fodder for the gutter press, what does surprise me,and if it has happened I have not heard about it, is why officials, governing bodies and pundits etc. have not got together and tried to come up with a solution.
    What a great result that would have been yesterday if we could have beaten say Fulham and Burnley,ah well.

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  42. Don't fall for the lazy arguement concerning the time factor. If a goal is scored then a natural break has occurred. If the ref is unsure he can consult the fourth official in the Stand.

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  43. Neil. And what if a goal has not been scored,for instance in the case of of a penalty decision,you can't choose scenarios to justify the technology argument.How many times have we watched an incident from many different angles and still not been certain what happened so the instantaneous video ref. decision is a fallacy as well.

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  44. No, I'm only referring to goal decisions, as is the case in Rugby Union. As you've suggested, Penalty decisions are far more subjective.

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  45. Good morning all and well done Tony 44 comments and counting.I have often felt like a voice in the wilderness regarding technology in football.
    Reading the comments I realised another problem for the official would be that unlike the referee who has to make an instantaneous decision or appear indecisive (I believe that is why they seldom consult the assistants)the man watching the screen knows that the video evidence he is scrutinising will also be examined in minute detail by every so called football expert on the planet and so will not be in any great rush to make a decision,also he has to be subjective,as in yes the ball did hit hit his hand but was it deliberate? The Henri incident was cut and dried especially as he admitted it so technology would have worked well.
    I could also see a situation where we have a five minute wait after almost every goal while the video evidence is examined.

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  46. Think it just goes to show that it is an area that, although we may not all agree that it could work, is still something that should be considered by the FA. Still not much chance of that and it may not be a bad thing becauce VT may well have decreed that Steven (or Stephen) Ireland was off side for City's second goal against 'pool.

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  47. Well summed up Tony.I think that technology is moving at such a pace that one day it may be feasable and like you say technology can work against you as well as for you.

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