Whilst last weekend’s Premier League refereeing decisions have led to a renewed call for the introduction of video technology by those who analyse football betting odds, the question as to whether or not referees want the technology are still to be answered.
With video replays already leaving referees red faced after making poor decisions, imagine how Chris Foy would have felt re-watching footage that revealed he had clearly failed to spot an obvious foul in the build-up to the ‘goal that wasn’t’ at the Britannia Stadium.
With the public, pundits, players, and managers all agreeing that technology is the answer, the decision as to the extent to which technology should be used, rather than if technology should be used at all, is currently the main subject of debate. However, with ex-referee Dermot Gallagher making a clear distinction about ‘judgement’ and ‘factual’ calls for a referee to make, the line seems to be blurred when it comes to blatant violations of the rules of football being inadvertently reviewed if a referee chooses to use technology to check a ‘factual’ decision.
Premier League referees already appear to receive a minimum of respect from a large number of Premier League stars, so a referee who was seen to be making a poor decision in the lead up to reviewing a ‘factual’ call would be liable to face a very difficult scenario when making decisions for the duration of the game in question.
With technology available, and easy and quick to use, the idea of a challenge system for all types of decisions is surely the most sensible way forward. However, with UEFA continuing to resist any introduction of technology in the sport, don’t expect the debate to end just yet.
Meanwhile, the Premier League favourite odds to win are hotting up at the moment with Chelsea leading the way, closely followed by Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham.