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There is another problem with applying instant replays beyond just interrupting the flow of the game. It all stems from the nature of football in sometimes lacking breaks in play for quite some time. So how will this cause a problem?

Well, let us say that the referee is allowed to use a radio link to the video referee. A long ball is played up to player X, a striker who breaks away into a one to one against the keeper, but who may possibly have been offside. At present the referee (aided by his assistant) makes an instant decision. And if we see he gets it wrong (once we have watched the replay from five angles), we all moan at him.

But, even if video replay was allowed, the referee would notnot stop play to use it, since if player X was onsideonside then the ref has just stopped a possible goal scoring move anyway. He needs to wait for a break in play.

So the referee lets the move continue: If X scores then the video can be checked and a goal awarded or disallowed. Even if it results in a goal kick or corner then we have a natural break to check the replay.

But what if when play is allowed to continue, X shoots; the goalie pushes the ball out; it is played around by the players of X's team for half a minute or so (still too close to goal to just stop play); and then X's team mate Y dashes into the penalty area with the ball at his feet and is viciously fouled by defender Z...a a clear sending off offence. The ball however runs on into the goal.

At which point the replay referee sends down a message that the original ball to X was offside!

What does the poor ref (aided by modern technology) do now?

  1. Disallow the goal for an offence that happened a while ago. (Believe me, players moan if the ref is seconds late with a whistle.)

  2. If he does disallow it (as he should) what about the sending off offence? The defence will argue forcibly that player Z should never have been in the position of having to foul Y since the game ought to have stopped a while ago. And imagine the nastiness from Y's team if Z is let off. Whichever decision is made will not seem right to one team.

  3. All this will be even more difficult if Y has a broken leg...

This is just a simple example using offside. The same problems or worse can occur with just about any decision that needs to be verified by another ref using a video screen. This is why IFAB (the law making body of world football) are insisting that any way of checking if the ball has crossed the line for a goal, needs to be instant. Goal line technology will probably arrive: but I think that anything like the above, that needs even a brief time for analysis, falls into huge potential problems if play has to continue.

At least now, right or wrong, an instant decision is made and the game stopped or allowed to continue. Mistakes will often be made, but we all just have to accept that, and get on with the game. So why shouldn't players just accept my imagined scenario too? Because once video technology is accepted for some decisions, then players will expect correct calls at all times...and and the free flowing nature of football (unlike cricket, gridiron, rugby which are all played in short bursts of action) is not suited to this technology.

There is another problem with applying instant replays beyond just interrupting the flow of the game. It all stems from the nature of football in sometimes lacking breaks in play for quite some time. So how will this cause a problem?

Well, let us say that the referee is allowed to use a radio link to the video referee. A long ball is played up to player X, a striker who breaks away into a one to one against the keeper, but who may possibly have been offside. At present the referee (aided by his assistant) makes an instant decision. And if we see he gets it wrong (once we have watched the replay from five angles), we all moan at him.

But, even if video replay was allowed, the referee would not stop play to use it, since if player X was onside then the ref has just stopped a possible goal scoring move anyway. He needs to wait for a break in play.

So the referee lets the move continue: If X scores then the video can be checked and a goal awarded or disallowed. Even if it results in a goal kick or corner then we have a natural break to check the replay.

But what if when play is allowed to continue, X shoots; the goalie pushes the ball out; it is played around by the players of X's team for half a minute or so (still too close to goal to just stop play); and then X's team mate Y dashes into the penalty area with the ball at his feet and is viciously fouled by defender Z...a clear sending off offence. The ball however runs on into the goal.

At which point the replay referee sends down a message that the original ball to X was offside!

What does the poor ref (aided by modern technology) do now?

  1. Disallow the goal for an offence that happened a while ago. (Believe me, players moan if the ref is seconds late with a whistle.)

  2. If he does disallow it (as he should) what about the sending off offence? The defence will argue forcibly that player Z should never have been in the position of having to foul Y since the game ought to have stopped a while ago. And imagine the nastiness from Y's team if Z is let off. Whichever decision is made will not seem right to one team.

  3. All this will be even more difficult if Y has a broken leg...

This is just a simple example using offside. The same problems or worse can occur with just about any decision that needs to be verified by another ref using a video screen. This is why IFAB (the law making body of world football) are insisting that any way of checking if the ball has crossed the line for a goal, needs to be instant. Goal line technology will probably arrive: but I think that anything like the above, that needs even a brief time for analysis, falls into huge potential problems if play has to continue.

At least now, right or wrong, an instant decision is made and the game stopped or allowed to continue. Mistakes will often be made, but we all just have to accept that, and get on with the game. So why shouldn't players just accept my imagined scenario too? Because once video technology is accepted for some decisions, then players will expect correct calls at all times...and the free flowing nature of football (unlike cricket, gridiron, rugby which are all played in short bursts of action) is not suited to this technology.

There is another problem with applying instant replays beyond just interrupting the flow of the game. It all stems from the nature of football in sometimes lacking breaks in play for quite some time. So how will this cause a problem?

Well, let us say that the referee is allowed to use a radio link to the video referee. A long ball is played up to player X, a striker who breaks away into a one to one against the keeper, but who may possibly have been offside. At present the referee (aided by his assistant) makes an instant decision. And if we see he gets it wrong (once we have watched the replay from five angles), we all moan at him.

But, even if video replay was allowed, the referee would not stop play to use it, since if player X was onside then the ref has just stopped a possible goal scoring move anyway. He needs to wait for a break in play.

So the referee lets the move continue: If X scores then the video can be checked and a goal awarded or disallowed. Even if it results in a goal kick or corner then we have a natural break to check the replay.

But what if when play is allowed to continue, X shoots; the goalie pushes the ball out; it is played around by the players of X's team for half a minute or so (still too close to goal to just stop play); and then X's team mate Y dashes into the penalty area with the ball at his feet and is viciously fouled by defender Z... a clear sending off offence. The ball however runs on into the goal.

At which point the replay referee sends down a message that the original ball to X was offside!

What does the poor ref (aided by modern technology) do now?

  1. Disallow the goal for an offence that happened a while ago. (Believe me, players moan if the ref is seconds late with a whistle.)

  2. If he does disallow it (as he should) what about the sending off offence? The defence will argue forcibly that player Z should never have been in the position of having to foul Y since the game ought to have stopped a while ago. And imagine the nastiness from Y's team if Z is let off. Whichever decision is made will not seem right to one team.

  3. All this will be even more difficult if Y has a broken leg...

This is just a simple example using offside. The same problems or worse can occur with just about any decision that needs to be verified by another ref using a video screen. This is why IFAB (the law making body of world football) are insisting that any way of checking if the ball has crossed the line for a goal, needs to be instant. Goal line technology will probably arrive: but I think that anything like the above, that needs even a brief time for analysis, falls into huge potential problems if play has to continue.

At least now, right or wrong, an instant decision is made and the game stopped or allowed to continue. Mistakes will often be made, but we all just have to accept that, and get on with the game. So why shouldn't players just accept my imagined scenario too? Because once video technology is accepted for some decisions, then players will expect correct calls at all times... and the free flowing nature of football (unlike cricket, gridiron, rugby which are all played in short bursts of action) is not suited to this technology.

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BUT: evenBut, even if video replay was allowed, the referee would NOTnot stop play to use it, since if player X was ONSIDEonside then the ref has just stopped a possible goal scoring move anyway. He needs to wait for a break in play.

At which point the replay referee sends down a message that the original ball to X was OFFSIDEoffside!

What does the poor ref (aided by modern technology) do now?

1 Disallow the goal for an offence that happened a while ago. (Believe me, players moan if the ref is SECONDS late with a whistle.)

2 If he does disallow it (as he should) what about the sending off offence? The defence will argue forcibly that player Z should never have been in the position of having to foul Y since the game ought to have stopped a while ago. And imagine the nastiness from Y's team if Z is let off. Whichever decision is made will not seem right to one team.

3 All this will be even more difficult if Y has a broken leg...

  1. Disallow the goal for an offence that happened a while ago. (Believe me, players moan if the ref is seconds late with a whistle.)

  2. If he does disallow it (as he should) what about the sending off offence? The defence will argue forcibly that player Z should never have been in the position of having to foul Y since the game ought to have stopped a while ago. And imagine the nastiness from Y's team if Z is let off. Whichever decision is made will not seem right to one team.

  3. All this will be even more difficult if Y has a broken leg...

BUT: even if video replay was allowed, the referee would NOT stop play to use it, since if player X was ONSIDE then the ref has just stopped a possible goal scoring move anyway. He needs to wait for a break in play.

At which point the replay referee sends down a message that the original ball to X was OFFSIDE!

What does the poor ref (aided by modern technology) do now?

1 Disallow the goal for an offence that happened a while ago. (Believe me, players moan if the ref is SECONDS late with a whistle.)

2 If he does disallow it (as he should) what about the sending off offence? The defence will argue forcibly that player Z should never have been in the position of having to foul Y since the game ought to have stopped a while ago. And imagine the nastiness from Y's team if Z is let off. Whichever decision is made will not seem right to one team.

3 All this will be even more difficult if Y has a broken leg...

But, even if video replay was allowed, the referee would not stop play to use it, since if player X was onside then the ref has just stopped a possible goal scoring move anyway. He needs to wait for a break in play.

At which point the replay referee sends down a message that the original ball to X was offside!

What does the poor ref (aided by modern technology) do now?

  1. Disallow the goal for an offence that happened a while ago. (Believe me, players moan if the ref is seconds late with a whistle.)

  2. If he does disallow it (as he should) what about the sending off offence? The defence will argue forcibly that player Z should never have been in the position of having to foul Y since the game ought to have stopped a while ago. And imagine the nastiness from Y's team if Z is let off. Whichever decision is made will not seem right to one team.

  3. All this will be even more difficult if Y has a broken leg...

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There is another problem with applying instant replays beyond just interrupting the flow of the game. It all stems from the nature of football in sometimes lacking breaks in play for quite some time. So how will this cause a problem?

Well, let us say that the referee is allowed to use a radio link to the video referee. A long ball is played up to player X, a striker who breaks away into a one to one against the keeper, but who may possibly have been offside. At present the referee (aided by his assistant) makes an instant decision. And if we see he gets it wrong (once we have watched the replay from five angles), we all moan at him.

BUT: even if video replay was allowed, the referee would NOT stop play to use it, since if player X was ONSIDE then the ref has just stopped a possible goal scoring move anyway. He needs to wait for a break in play.

So the referee lets the move continue: If X scores then the video can be checked and a goal awarded or disallowed. Even if it results in a goal kick or corner then we have a natural break to check the replay.

But what if when play is allowed to continue, X shoots; the goalie pushes the ball out; it is played around by the players of X's team for half a minute or so (still too close to goal to just stop play); and then X's team mate Y dashes into the penalty area with the ball at his feet and is viciously fouled by defender Z...a clear sending off offence. The ball however runs on into the goal.

At which point the replay referee sends down a message that the original ball to X was OFFSIDE!

What does the poor ref (aided by modern technology) do now?

1 Disallow the goal for an offence that happened a while ago. (Believe me, players moan if the ref is SECONDS late with a whistle.)

2 If he does disallow it (as he should) what about the sending off offence? The defence will argue forcibly that player Z should never have been in the position of having to foul Y since the game ought to have stopped a while ago. And imagine the nastiness from Y's team if Z is let off. Whichever decision is made will not seem right to one team.

3 All this will be even more difficult if Y has a broken leg...

This is just a simple example using offside. The same problems or worse can occur with just about any decision that needs to be verified by another ref using a video screen. This is why IFAB (the law making body of world football) are insisting that any way of checking if the ball has crossed the line for a goal, needs to be instant. Goal line technology will probably arrive: but I think that anything like the above, that needs even a brief time for analysis, falls into huge potential problems if play has to continue.

At least now, right or wrong, an instant decision is made and the game stopped or allowed to continue. Mistakes will often be made, but we all just have to accept that, and get on with the game. So why shouldn't players just accept my imagined scenario too? Because once video technology is accepted for some decisions, then players will expect correct calls at all times...and the free flowing nature of football (unlike cricket, gridiron, rugby which are all played in short bursts of action) is not suited to this technology.