Written by Stephen Hopper

So the age-old question why are match officials getting big decisions wrong? These are professionals who should know the laws of the game but recently have had mistakes highlighted due to them contradicting decisions one minute sending off a player and then the opposing player with a similar foul manages to stay on the pitch.

The FA decided after many years to bring in-goal line technology to make a clear decision on the ball crossing the line, so why not use a video replay to make a correct decision on a foul and or sending off offence as used in other sports? An argument could be had for it being too time consuming awaiting a decision, for example Rugby League use this technology and officials already have radio communications with Linesman and the fourth official so why not for this?

By the time an official talks to a player committing the foul and there captain a decision could easily be made in that time to make a more accurate decision and when a match report is submitted they could use the evidence to back up the decision to send a player off. I don’t like seeing players sent off but when the intent is clearly to injure an opposing player to gain an advantage this technology would be very welcome in disciplinary procedures.

Match officials are only human and for the most part I appreciate they have an extremely difficult job but recently I have been left bemused by some decisions not only that I think officials should be made accountable for wrong decisions which has cost a team a point or even 3 points, this happens at any level of football, I accept that officials not only have players to deal with but coaches and crowds off supporters so does the pressure get to them?

A quote I recently read “Football officials are forbidden to comment publicly about their performance.  To do so would undercut the honour due to teams for winning or losing against a valued opponent, and invalidate the results of competitions that cannot be replayed”. Players sometimes suffer the agony of failing and losing, referees must sometimes bear their responsibility for errors”.

Retrospective action is almost certainly a good thing in the game and some decisions have been overturned, but I strongly believe officials should be made accountable, it’s all well and good relegating an official to a lower division if they have had a poor game in charge, but what’s to say the same official won’t have the same poor game at a lower level? Yes we do have some outstanding officials who are invited to officiate in major European competitions but this is only a small number from England, and even then they don’t always perform to the best of their ability again this could be down to pressure of a big game situation after all they are only human.

Some officials think they are celebrities or want the celebrity lifestyle and this just makes them look extremely arrogant. One official in particular Mr Mike Dean, how many times recently has he made the wrong decision which has effected a result or allowed a foul to go unpunished in pressures of a game.

credit Ronnie Macdonald

Players have to be equally accountable as officials do for bad errors of judgement, this comes across as officials get everything wrong far from it but obviously as they are the man/woman in the middle they are in charge of a game so have to be accountable for all decisions.

So again could a video referee be the answer why not explore avenues on how to improve decision-making/assisting in coming to a decision, we have fourth officials in the game at the moment who spend a lot of time having to explain a decision on behalf of the game official, why not allow them to monitor a video link to determine a decision?

Should video technology be introduced? Let us know in the comments below!