Monday, 18 March 2013

Don’t blame the referees – help them

Callum McManaman’s awful challenge on Massadio Haïdara on Sunday once again brought its predictable headlines because the referee didn’t send him off.

What I haven’t seen a lot of is the fact Mark Halsey didn’t exactly have the greatest view of the incident because a player ran across his path.

The linesman saw nothing so left with a player lying on the ground screaming in sheer agony, Halsey had two choices; guess it was the awful challenge it was and send McManaman off, knowing Haidara could have caught his studs in the turf.

Or let it pass because he hadn’t seen it and take the ramifications at half-time and after the game, which is what he rightfully did.

If a referee or his assistant doesn’t see something, football does not need them to guess! I hope McManaman gets a retrospective ban because, malicious or not, there is no place for tackles like that.

However, it got me thinking, what if Mark Halsey had an official in the stand in front of a monitor who he could communicate with, a TV referee?

What’s wrong with Halsey, one of the best referees we have in the Premier League, stopping play and while getting Haidara the medical treatment he needed speaking to the TV referee? The play has already been stopped!

What’s wrong with him asking for a replay because he couldn’t see the tackle which left Haidara screaming in pain?

Within seconds, an official will see the replay and tell him red card, Wigan are punished, Newcastle while losing their player to injury feel justice has been served and the game can pan out to a natural conclusion.

Where’s the harm in allowing an official to sit, on the gantry away from fans with a monitor to provide the answer when the referee just isn’t sure?

This is not goal-line technology, this is a double check like in rugby union, encourage the referees to get it right first time but if they are unsure, give them the fallback.

Yes it will delay the game, it has to, but when prices are in excess of £40, £50 and £60 for a Premier League game, shouldn’t we reward fans with the correct decisions?

Like them or loathe them, referee’s are human – ask yourself this, given one look at it, would you make the right decision everytime?

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