26/03/2014 13:11 GMT | Updated 26/05/2014 06:59 BST

Why Football Should Introduce Video Refereeing

The use of video refereeing has been an ongoing debate amongst football fans, pundits and professionals for quite a few years now.

Many argue that it would mar the flow of the game if there were constant stoppages, others say that it is a part of the sport and creates drama, allowing for articles and debates (such as this one).

However, football is supposed to be associated with fairness and fairness is abandoned when a player dives and receives a penalty or an excruciatingly bad refereeing decision goes unchallenged.

You can probably hazard a guess as to which refereeing decision I am talking about.

Andre Marriner's sending off of Kieran Gibbs against Chelsea was slightly bizarre, absurd and just silly.

Even after protests from the man he should have sent off, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he refused to change his decision, much to the confusion of every single football fan in the UK.

He has since apologised, but it's difficult to overlook the fact that video referees would put an end to these sorts of blunders.

The FA have already given the go-ahead for goal-line technology to stop poor decisions such as Frank Lampard's definite goal against Germany or, possibly the greatest disallowed goal ever, Pedro Mendes's effort against Manchester United.

So why not video referees?

Video referees would eradicate the controversial decisions given by referees, that's a fact and technological advances in sport almost guarantees accurate and fast decisions.

The obscene amount of money in football means that this sort of technology is easily affordable, most certainly to the Premier League and maybe later in the lower leagues.


Possibly the biggest and most noticeable change would be diving in football. Players may be less inclined to dive if they knew a video referee was in place.

This would stop players like Chelsea's Oscar, who was rightfully booked for one of the worst dives ever against Southampton on New Year's Day, making a habit out of hitting the deck.

As for the argument of video decisions 'halting the flow of play,' this happens anyway as players surround referees shouting and appealing for or against a decision given.


I'm not often one to compare football with rugby (mostly because I would get castigated for it by thousands of football fans), but their video referee technology is a fantastic way of keeping the game somewhat fair.

If a referee isn't sure of a decision, then he goes straight to the eye in the sky for him to take a closer look and make a decision.

This arguably adds more excitement to the game, as fans and spectators anxiously wait for the decision to be made and for it to be shown on the screen.

Imagine it. 'Any reason not to give Wayne Rooney a red card?' or 'Was Oscar fouled or should I give him a well-deserved yellow?'


The only valid reason I see for not implementing some form of video referee is because it could end the debates which surround the world of football following the match in question.

It is an integral part of the sport that words, often heated, are exchanged between rival fans and neutrals alike about whether or not it should have been a penalty or whether the foul should have been given.

Yes, video refereeing could possibly stop this, but correct decisions are somewhat expected from those who participate in professional football.

It's easy to blame poor refereeing decisions, but many of us have never been a referee for a football match, never mind a professional one, so it's easy for us to judge.

Gibbs's sending off instead of Oxlade-Chamberlain probably wasn't a match-changing decision and there is no argument that the Ox deserved a red card, but it was slightly unfair on Gibbs to have received the punishment for it.

Video refereeing would have pointed Andre Marriner in the right direction following the decision and the controversy would have been easily avoided.

A Matter of Time

Most likely, it'll be just a matter of time before video refereeing is introduced into football.

Whilst bad decisions and poor refereeing make for a bit of entertainment, they also cause annoyance and controversy whilst burdening the game with unnecessary criticism.

Fifa President Sepp Blatter wants 'tougher sanctions' on diving players, many Premier League managers want better refereeing and referees want to give as many correct decisions as possible.

It seems then, that there's only one solution.

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