How Fifa/Uefa is stopping progress, while trying to show the reverse


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By Walter Broeckx

In this article I am thinking about the not given goal from Bolton against Chelsea when the ball clearly passed the line but nothing was given. And the not given goal in the top match in Belgium between Anderlecht and Standard Liège when the ball also clearly crossed the line but no goal was given. Just take a look at the picture of this second incident.


Just two examples of two important games in which the ball crossed the line and no goal was given. In Belgium the top ref who did the game and was confronted with the not given goal after the game was disgusted by the mistake from him and the assistant.

And he also said as it happened at 1-0 in the first half that during the half time break they got the news about the mistake they made.  And how it gives the ref and the assistant a bad feeling. So such mistakes do have an influence on the ref and the assistants. And so it could change their mindset and make them doubtful about their decisions. And a ref who has doubts during a game is a bad ref.

So we must try to avoid such thing. And then again I can only come up with the question: why on earth don’t they use the images so the 4th official can stop the game and let the ref on the field know that the ball had crossed the line and that a goal will be given? The ref in Belgium, who is also a Fifa ref, also said after the game that in such cases they should be able to use video evidence to avoid such mistakes. So just like a top ref in Holland last season, now a top ref in Belgium is asking and begging the authorities to give them help in such situations.

So the top refs don’t have anything against the use of video images to decide goal line incidents. It is clearly the authorities in Fifa, Uefa and the national football federations who are holding back. And one of the reasons they use is that it would/could change football too much from the way it has been played and the way the refs have done the games all the time.

But now wait a minute… didn’t Fifa and Uefa change things the last seasons? Putting 2 extra refs on the goal line isn’t that also revolutionary? 10 years ago it would have been impossible to even imagine it and now we are used to it in the Champions League. So in a way this also is very revolutionary. As would the use of video evidence be to decide the ball crossing the goal line or not.

But please, authorities. do something about it because now teams get robbed of valid goals. And in both games I mentioned the final  outcome would not have changed. Instead of losing 1-5 to Chelsea it would have been a loss of 2-5 for Bolton. And Anderlecht would have won not by 5-0 but by 6-0 as they trashed their rivals in the second half.

BUT that not given goal could be the difference between heaven and hell at the end of the season. It has happened enough in football that a title, a relegation or promotion has been decided on goal difference. Even Arsenal once won a title on goal difference and even with the numbers going behind the comma. So it does matter a lot if all the goals are given correct. It could be the difference between going down or staying up. Not that I really do care a lot if Bolton were to go down on goal difference but my sense for justice tells me that it would  not be  correct if it would happen that way.

So the solution to put extra refs on the field invented by Fifa: does it help? Does it make a difference? Well in both cases an extra ref could have been helpful. But in both the incidents the assistant was almost level with the goal line so should have seen it himself. Was he afraid to make the call? Was he unsighted by someone? Who knows but this also is an argument to use video evidence to make sure.

Those extra refs on the goal line apart from looking if the ball crossed the line or not have also the possibility to tell the ref that a foul has been made in the penalty area. But do they signal such things? Well I cannot remember really any penalty given by the 5th/6th official in the last season.  So are they also afraid to act?

Another thing that struck me is the fact that since this season the 5th/6th official are placed on the other side of the goal. The 3 ref system was that the ref runs a diagonal line and the assistants cover the other side of the field. Like in this picture below. The red line is the diagonal from the ref and the blue line is the area the assistant covers


And with the refs positioned like last season they all cover this side of the field as you can see in the picture below. The black line is the area the extra ref covers



The lines are not straight and this is because there is not really a line where the influence of this ref behind the goal stops. But as you can see the whole field is very much covered by the 5 refs around the field.

But with the new position of the refs you get more this situation as is pointed out in the next image


And now you see that the 5th/6th ref and the assistant are covering the same space. And that the ref has a bigger part of the field to cover. In fact for the ref this is back to the days before they had the extra assistant behind the goal. So he has to run deeper again and this will make him more tired and a tired ref is making mistakes.

Another thing is that in fact now it could happen that the 5th ref could step on the goal line to try to see something and by doing this could block the view of the assistant who could be trying to see the same thing (a ball crossing the goal line) from his position. So now not only the players could be blocking the view of the assistant but also the extra ref could block the view of the assistant.

And as we have seen with the handball from the Marseille player last Wednesday if the extra ref would have been in his old position he should have had a clear view on the handball and if he would have been a man he would have signaled it. Now he was standing behind the incident looking to a crowded penalty area and couldn’t see it.

So even when Fifa, Uefa try to do something or at least give the impression they try to do something they are doing it in such a way that they could better leave it like that and go back to the one ref and two assistants. It would make no difference any more.

But the most important thing for Fifa and Uefa is in fact by putting those extra (useless) persons over there is to give the impression they care about it and try to do something about it. And by giving that impression they try to block off a real progress that could be made by something that many top refs ask and hope for: the use of video evidence to help them and prevent them  feeling stupid when they could not see a ball crossing the goal line or not.That is of course for those refs who want to do their games like it should be done.


16 Replies to “How Fifa/Uefa is stopping progress, while trying to show the reverse”

  1. Walter….it is hard to understand why FIFA-EUFA resist modernizing the game and making their official’s lives easier.AFC tried to get permission to use video technology in the emirates Cup but were refused by the FA and their FIFA-EUFA masters.
    Officials, for many years, have been demanding video replay and goal-line technology to assist them in determining difficult and highly controversial decisions but to no avail.
    Is there not enough money in it for the corrupt FIFA-EUFA robber barons, or might it be disadvantageous to the Football mafia to be too exact and therefore increasing the likelihood of their match fixing being detected?
    whatever the reasons for their reticence, the game is suffering for it.

  2. It’s much harder to influence the outcomes of games for betting syndicates when the refs have less power to manipulate the matches. Football is corrupt and needs to be cleansed.

  3. Tis true that the positioning of 5th 6th officials is truly perplexing.

    Can they be that incompetent??

  4. This just reinforces my belief that UEFA fixes matches to maximize TV ratings. It is still my strong belief that when Van Persie was sent off during the Barcelona game that the ref did what he was told to do and that was to get Arsenal to lose. Jose Mourinho was correct in his attack against favoritism for Barcelona. UEFA then backs up my assertion by promoting this jackass of a ref to a posh job at headquarters.

  5. That’s why it is only a few countries that have won the FIFA World Cup. In 2002, it was obvious that South Korea was sided to go as far as possible so as to create greater awareness in Asia in order to milk them the more. With video technology there would be no advantage again to some favoured clubs and countries.

  6. Its definitely not the money but it definitely is the money. They already have the cameras (the replays we see), and paying those 2 extra refs is surely more expensive than paying one person to sit in front of a tv and watch replays. So its not new equipment or wages. So what other reason than their own personal gain. Honestly now do you think they really care that the game is going to change. Video evidence would kill any chance of controlling games. We will get it eventually though, but not until they find out how to regulate it

  7. They should allow video replay and use a camera for the ball going over the line. I would like to see two on the field refs and two linesmen. I think with two having whistles it would help especially with fouls away from the focus of play. The game is so fast that one ref can’t keep up. With more eyes hopefully it would mean better decisions.

    Why won’t they consider the two on the field refs. Basketball has three and many sports have more than one and it works.

  8. Hey Walter

    I would justt like to know the money paid to the referees for doing these games. Somehow I feel that they should be paid very highly(similar to players) which can make them less corrupt.

    This would also make the players respect them more and the referees would not like to change the course of the game for some money or a Ferrari.. I know it would not stop all the bad things but it would be a good start.. And just like managers are paid highly referees(atleast at top level)should be paid good money.. May be this would also promote more players to become referees..

    Your views please

  9. Compared to league games the refs in the CL get a lot more. I had the numbers written somewhere but can’t find them for the moment. That is if we look at it from a refs point of earning.

    However compared to what a player gets per week… it is peanuts.

  10. Oh and for your information: this weekend in Belgium another ball went over the line and the ref didn’t see it, the assistant couldn’t see it because the keeper was blocking the view with his body.
    Even the keeper admitted after the game that the ball had largely passed the line but no goal was given. As this game ended 1-1 it could have meant that one team got robbed of one goal and two points….

  11. In a game like bolton’s,a goal scored ofcourse changes the course of the game..Isn’t there a way that a technology can be used that wont involve stopping the game?eg,a goal line technology that involves a device,preferably the refs watch vibrating to signal the ref that the ball has crossed the line!!or a buzzer,just like in ice hockey!that to me would be the best but whichever the technology,its needed ASAP.

  12. Bob,
    the problem is that referees who step out of the lines can easily be hit at by the football federations and Uefa/fifa.

    If a top ref would start such a movement the chance could be that his federations doesn’t put him on the yearly list with potential fifa referees. And even if his federation puts him on that list it could be that Uefa/fifa don’t accept him as a fifa/uefa ref.
    Of they could accept him (because they need the support of that federation when it comes to voting some things) from the list but “forget” to give him games and thus hurt him where it hurts most: on his bank account.

    So refs will be very carefull not to step on some toes as they say in Dutch.

    In fact it all comes down to : do what we tell you to do, shut up or you will pay the bill.

    I think the only one who could ever get away with such a demand could have been Colina. But even he knows what the best thing is for your career by joining the people who have the power.

  13. Walter,
    Thanks for your info on the leash that UEFA/FIFA have on Refs. It surely makes sense. Would that lease also extend to pensions that retired refs are collecting? Could that be a reason that so few retired refs seem to say anything – would someone survive a truthful best selling memoir? It would be great to have but surely take a massive act of courage, I suspect.

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