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August 2021

So what if…. Where would Arsenal be if technology had been used to correct ref errors this season?

By Walter Broeckx

So what if…. How much of progress did humanity make just by someone, somewhere thinking these 3 words? Many good invention started just by these 3 magical words. So I was thinking: So what if Fifa/Uefa/FA started with a way to cancel out bad mistakes from the refs.

So what if those organisations would do what many other sports organisation did in the last years and use all the help they have available to help their refs. American Football uses it, Tennis uses it, Ice hockey uses it (as far as I know or has some kind of goal line technology), Cricket uses it, Rugby uses it. And isn’t Rugby very much like football? Apart from the fact that in rugby you can use your hands an in football not. But it is a fluid game just like football is.

So what if there would be a video ref who analyses on the spot the important decisions in a game? Would it make any difference to Arsenal? So let us try out and see at what should have happened if the refs would make no mistakes or if they would be helped by the video ref. Now I could go through all the games but I decided that I would only take on the decisions that had an impact on the final outcome of the game.

I know the first Liverpool goal should have been disallowed. But because Liverpool scored another goal later in that game I left it out this review. We lost 0-2 and the only difference would be we lost 0-1.  Just as I will leave the first goal from Robin Van Persie out that he scored against Bolton. We won 3-0 so the only difference would have been we won 2-0. And this is the only major decision that went our way so far this season. I also left out penalties not given against QPR as we won that game and it would only matter for the goal difference and maybe, just maybe for Robin Van Persie to have another record on his account.

Let us start with the first game of the season. Newcastle.

A foul on Gervinho is not given as a penalty by the ref. Okay fine but then Barton grabs Gervinho by the throat while the ball is in play and in the Newcastle penalty area. There is only one decision to be made at that time: penalty for Arsenal.  That would have been the difference between one point and 3 points. 2 points lost because of the ref.

Next game at Blackburn.

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Yakubu scores the third goal for Blackburn from an offside position. Goal should have been cancelled.

And in the final minute of the game Robinson bundles over Walcott and this should have been a penalty for Arsenal. We got no points from this game but with cancelling the Yakubu goal and the penalty the score line should have been 3-4 in favour of Arsenal. So we lost 3 points because of bad decisions on the day. A total of 5 points lost so far.

Next game at Tottenham.

Van Der Vaart controls the ball with his arm and scores from this. The goal should have been cancelled. We should have gotten one point from this game. The total so far is 6 points lost.

Let us go to Manchester City.

Robin Van Persie scores the equaliser but this is wrongly ruled out for offside. On MOTD2 they showed the line of the last defender and the defender on the top was level with Van Persie when the ball was played to him.

And then later Dowd turned his famous blind eye for a handball from Richards. A Koscielny cross flies some 20 meters in the air and Richards stops the ball with his arm and brings it under control. Dowd is looking at it from a few meters distance but well we know Dowd. So a not given correct goal and a not given penalty. In stead of losing 1-0 we should have won that game 1-2. 3 points lost because of bad decisions. Counting so far : 9 points missed.

The last incident that had an impact on the final score was at Fulham.

Senderos catches the standing feet of Gervinho. Ref Probert ignores it like he ignored most fouls on Arsenal players in that game during the 90 minutes. We lost 2-1 but the final score should have been 2-2. Again one point lost. This makes a total of 10 points lost so far because of what we will call mistakes from the refs.

10 points more that would give us 46 points so far this season. And because of MC having 3 points less it would mean that we would be top of the league right now.

So is the only difference between being top and being where we are now a world class striker/midfielder/defender/keeper? No, the most important difference is if we would have had world class referees during the season then we would be top of the league.

Maybe with the current transfer window open we shouldn’t be focussing on buying world class players. No just buy us a few world class referees for the PGMOL and things could look rather different. Maybe the PGMOL could do some transfers themselves? As there seems to be no age limit they could transfer in the best Fifa refs who have retired because of reaching the age of 45 years old? Now that would be some upsetting incoming transfers in the EPL.



Referees: the geographical bias

Latest: Watch out for the lightening in Manchester when Dowd is around

1: The Ref’s Association has closed its web site

2: London people are unfit to referee according to the referees’ association

3: What did Mr Wenger mean when he said “We know what to expect in London”?


Corruption in the Premier League: Poor-Bert – the next head of PGMO

Incompetent or bent?  Certainly one or the other.   Fulham v Arsenal – the ref review

Ref Watch – Fulham v Arsenal

73 comments to So what if…. Where would Arsenal be if technology had been used to correct ref errors this season?

  • Maverick

    I know we have lost out on a lot of points this season because of dodgy refereeing, but also there are other teams that have suffered from dodgy moments also, so the whole table would be looking sooooo different to what it looks like now, this is why the technology is so badly needed, because it would physically change the whole landscape of the EPL. You have also got to think of all the off the ball incidents that consistently go unpunished (red card offenses that would change a game) because the ref is following the match and doesn’t see what is going on elsewhere.

  • Laundryender

    Tennis, Rugby, Cricket, Golf, all other great sports of the World have adopted technology to one extent or another, even F1 which i would argue is not a sport, Football alone as a dinosaur. Why simply because it is scared of being found out!!!!!

  • Finngun

    It’s only a matter of time before technology is used. It will improve the quality of the game and hinder corruption. May it be sooner rather than later.

  • zan

    i agree but you have to consider how many point more or less other teams would have been on had technology been used

  • Maybe, just maybe this is why the powers that be are so opposed to this idea. If a different team won the EPL every year, would it affect worldwide audiences/Fanbases or even undermine the so called “strength” of the league itself?

  • Billy

    You need to do this for all teams to judge where you would be!

  • Anne

    I enjoyed this. It really gives some perspective on just how much the refs are costing Arsenal. Arsenal plays by far the best football in the EPL, and should probably be running away with the league if all other things were equal.

  • Tasos

    I’m liking the use of video technology to back up your arguments here Walter although I still have My doubts that the use of video replays will always lead to the correct decision being made during or after the game in the EPL, especially where Arsenal are concerned. I mean can we trust the people who will be reviewing such decisions?

    Take a look at this clip of Wayne Rooney kicking Newcastle’s Fabricio Coloccini and receiving no punishment at all from the Ref. After reviewing the incident on MOTD, all three pundits – Lineker, Lawrenson and, least surprisingly, Shearer – saw ‘absolutely nothing wrong’ with this…

  • Johnny Deigh

    Yes, in ice hockey, they have a camera above each goal and review by video whether or not the puck has crossed the line.

  • WalterBroeckx

    yes we should do this for all the teams. I hope one day from every team there would be some blogger who does the same.
    But for the other teams “it evens out” is what they say so we don’t have to look at them. 😉
    Because I never believed it would even out for Arsenal so it is for the others who believe in the ‘it evens out’ theory to show me the evidence other teams also have been suffering like we have.

  • Abdus Samad

    It’s not only arsenal who have ended up on the wrong side of these decisions. United had a horrible match against newcastle at home. Similarly chelsea and liverpool too have had decisions going against them. These are part and parcel of the game. At the end of the season no one will hold these referees accountable if we don’t end up in the top 4. We have to make sure that we do our bid and cancel out these errors

  • WalterBroeckx

    Abdus, yes possibly it could happen for a few teams. But I only count the points we have lost because of the refs. Other teams should do the same and go to Riley and protest to him about his refs and demand change.

    And I don’t think we just should accept ‘it is part of the game’. It shouldn’t be allowed to be part of the game.
    Because by allowing such things and just accepting it we are opening the door to corruption.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The question if a video ref would make the right decisions in Arsenal games is something that can be made sure. Because if a video ref doesn’t do his job properly he should be kicked out. Pay him 100.000 a week if needed do to this job in the right way. So make sure that video ref has a lot to lose if he makes a wrong decision.

  • the premier league lacks ambition. i fail to see how they can allow sub-standard refereeing to continue damaging their brand.

  • Laundryender

    @mike in atlanta

    were the EPL to go it alone on the use of technology without sanctin of from FIFA, there would be penalties. Prob England kicked out of World Cup,or Enlish teams kicked out of Europe. The laws of the game and how it is admisinstered is sanctioned only by FIFA. Corrupt as fuck and bent as it comes, FICK FUFA!!

  • nicky

    If only technology could make all things fair at all times at all matches. Our national game could, of course, become like America’s football…..forget the fast flowing game in favour of stops and starts in order to settle appeals.
    Referees are human and therefore display human frailties such as incompetence, bias and corruption.
    Cynic that I am, I simply cannot see FIFA, UEFA or the FA having the will, let alone the means, of removing the canker of dishonesty in football.
    As someone of advanced years, I fear that the decline of world morals which was spawned during WW2 and continues to this day, cannot easily be halted. Cheating in all forms of sports now seems to be the norm, which even the very young are taught.
    Until we ALL attain the determination to return to honesty in sport, I cannot see any permanent improvement on the horizon.

  • bob

    mike in atlanta, Walter, all
    Only a league-wide fan petition (note to all: not Arsenal-only) for video replay would confirm to they who know the price of everything and the value of nothing that their precious brand is being tarnished, and fans from here to Wolves (that would be A to W, or A-W) are waking up.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Can only agree with the Wolves fans chanting “The Premier League is full of Shit” at Peter Waltons disgraceful performance in favour of Chelsea.
    Hopefully, other fans will take on such a reaction, lets expose this league for what it is.
    Seems like match fixing is getting more and more profilein many sports. Witness the incredible mystery figure appearing to influence judges in the recent Amir Khan fight. The body that sanctioned the fight will still not explain who this guy is or what he was doing. The fight ended, so I am told in a highly dubious decision, in favour of Khans opponent. Many people, including Frank Warren have told Khan to stop bleating, take it on the chin…where have we heard that before? To their credit, Khans people are fighting this all the way, a very quick rematch now looks a certainty. Shows what can happen if you take this sort of thing on

  • bob

    So Laundryender,
    You are against EPL video-scanning because England would be kicked out of FIFA, right? Do you think that FIFA could survive at its customary high-plateau if England were to risk this? Are you against such a showdown? FIFA would be massively embarrassed by this, and take on a massive loss were England to be “thrown” out of its stables. So, are you arguing against this sort of showdown, or not?

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    Amen! Wish that we had goblets to pass around league-wide of the bubbly you imbibe! Video replay, now and forever. Amen.

  • Scott

    Do not EVER,EVER bring it to this game………..I will soften and admit goal line technology ONLY might be good.
    I was brought up on rugby league and watched most games week in,week our until about 15 years ago……god bless foxtel and live telecasts of the premier league!!!!!!
    A big part of the reason I stopped watching league was that it pissed me off sitting and watching decision after decision being reviewed,giving us replay after replay from different angles.
    The annoying part is some “decisions” would take two or three minutes and guess what……………ask 100 people,and the final decision would be agreed with by 50,disagreed with by 50.
    Even the commentators would disagree on the verdict.
    What’s the point of waiting for a POSSIBLY correct decision?????
    No,do not ever bring it in….except goal line technology… most decisions are still merely one persons opinion which is what we get anyway.
    I would love to see video reviews done of each game,allowing post match,12 month bans for divers……we need to have clear cut guidelines on this topic……get these bastards out of the game.
    One ban for 12 months and it will barely happen.

  • bob

    In US football (not soccer), the networks broadcast the replays of all the angles they have at the same time as the refs are reviewing any contested call. If there is ref-shite in the video booth, there are millions of eyewitnesses who get to see the replays from several angles, and the game announcers often opine on what people see. The review experience, thus, is widely shared. Perhaps rugby broadcasts are similar (if not beyond, with microphoned refs, etc). This to say that there are additional pressures that can hereby be brought to bear on the video replay referee who’s calls (unlike those on the pitch) are scrutinized and in plain sight. It is not a panacea, but would surely help massively to level any playing field – which, of course, is why the powers that be so dread it. And why they offer up the bandage of narrow goal line technology and extra refs (any of whom could be bent and throw a match). In any case, you have the moral weight in these parts and your visualization of a better pitch to come is most welcome from here, down below, however much it may be detested on high.

  • RobL

    perhaps we could make use of some of this technology to find Diaby?

  • Scott

    One last point,corruption,or the possibility of it it,would not be enhanced or lessened with or without the use of technology,as again,most decisions are not universally agreed upon anyway.

  • bob

    Your point of view of instant gratification is exactly what the powers that be bank on as an excuse to do nothing. The replays can also be limited to certain situations, and, because so much can ride on them, they can be highly dramatic and add to the overall drama of the match. The so-called non-stop flow that you appear to love is also not so non-stop as you pretend. There are lots of dives which, once contested by in-game review, would then and there start to drive diving out of the game – especially when diving would be penalized in the match itself, not after the match. Your traditionalism may mean well, but the corrupt have used it to hijack the best of the beautiful game as it could and should be.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Scott, I once have been thinking like you.
    And as a ref I have changed my mind because it would work in both ways for refs.

    1. Refs who are honnest and make mistakes know that if they make a mistake it can be put right. So less pressure on the human being in the middle or at the side line. Less pressure should result in better decisions itself.

    2. Refs who are corrupt will have a problem to hide it and could be banned from the game

    and also refs/assistants who constantly would make the same mistakes all over would be recognised earlier and would have to become better or should be replaced.

    About the time lost. In almost all the cases I have shown the game stopped after the incident. Newcastle, Blackburn (1), Tottenham, Man City (1).

    I think it would bring extra drama to the games also. You score as a supporter you go wild and then comes the review and the whole stadium becomes full of tension and then the final verdict: another set of fans (or the same) going wild for the second time for the same goal.

    A 1-0 win would be celebrated even more as you would have cheered twice for the same goal

  • bob

    So, you are saying, without specifics, that it all evens out, so no worries, right? Is that an actual argument against video replay for all? Are you against the idea of a table that reflects what has actually happened in every match?

  • bob

    Exactly right! The replay and the waiting in a dramatic moment adds suspense; and there can be twice the celebrations or anguish. In either case, a heigtening of the moment, as opposed to, dare I say, premature release. ( Oh well, everyone knows what’s this means : ) , and our significant others do appreciate it).

  • bob

    Was that a sharp pain I just heard? Are you volunteering your time and good will and even-handedness for the good of football? Or are you opposed to any step in this direction and reaching for the nearest cliche to weaponize?

  • Shard

    Video replays do not result in 100% correct decisions. I see mistakes in decision making in basketball quite often (where it has been introduced in a partial fashion – only the last few minutes where the score becomes more vital)

    But does that mean technology shouldn’t be introduced? I think that it absolutely has to be introduced. There can be no justification for continuous wrong decisions being made. ‘part of the game’, ‘speed of the game'(which is also used to justify leg breaks), ‘it all evens out’ are all just apologist statements for the unacceptable. Sports matches should be decided by merits of the teams, not the demerits of the officials.

    Technology will not ever let you get 100% correct decisions. But it will help you get more decisions right. Plus, it’ll make it harder for excuses to be made for wrong decisions. You’ll still have some TV pundits telling you a trip on a Newcastle player by Ferdinand was just a shoulder push or some such thing to try to get you to disbelieve your own eyes. But it will make it harder to explain away for the ref to consistently make wrong decisions. They would have all the help they need while also having to be more visibly accountable.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If we could improve the goal decisions from now under 90% to let us say 98% wouldn’t that be a major step forward?
    I sure would love to see it happening.

  • Stuart

    With regard to the sentiment that technology has slowed games down due to waiting for replays etc…

    Surely it doesn’t need to be that way. If the ruling were to be that play should carry on and a video panel / 5th official had a means of communication to the ref if an incorrect decision had been made, the game could continue to play on while decisions were made on the side line and the ref signalled to halt play and go back.

    This would be particularly effective for un called penalty decisions and instances where the ball has crossed the line then gone back out into the field of play but no goal given as well as occasions where the ref misses an elbow to the face happening behind him.

  • Shard

    How technology is incorporated is a different matter. That does need to be looked at because I personally do not think the time while the decision is being made adds excitement. I do think the sport loses some of its characteristic when EVERYTHING goes to video. But of course limiting it to goal line tech alone makes no sense. It also doesn’t make sense that when you and I can, from halfway around the world, see something 30 secs later from a variety of angles, that the referees can’t correct their ‘mistake’ (a word that seems to scare the FA- referees don’t make mistakes you see, they are superhuman)

    The best I can think of right now is a challenge system. Goal line technology should be there regardless. Every other decision like a (potential) red card, a (potential) penalty, and some offside calls, should be open to appeal by the manager within a certain time limit. Each bench should be equipped with tv monitors from which all camera angles are accessible so that the team can make an informed decisions. There will be grey areas, and some managers will almost certainly use it as delaying tactics (for which there should be a limit on incorrect challenges) but all the same, it will make the game better and fairer and I think it shouldn’t result in the game slowing down too much.

  • Gooner Gal

    Whilst it’s a fair point to make that we have to consider where other teams would be if their bad calls were taken into account, I don’t believe all teams have had the same bad luck as Arsenal when it comes to wrong decisions, or more to the point with ‘big’ match changing decisions. Even anecdotally, when I narrow it down to four or five teams who we have been vying for one of the CL spaces with, I haven’t see things ‘even themselves out’ for Arsenal.

    We have been on the recieving end of bad calls when we played Newcastle, Liverpool, Man C and Tottenham that affected the game so much that we lost. Newcastle might of been denied a penalty against Chelsea and Man U but they haven’t had as many wrong calls against them when they played all the others and as for Man U and Man C poor refereeing hasn’t caused them to lose games or be without key players like Arsenal. Therefore the points in this article cannot be so lightly dismissed.

  • Gooner Gal

    The Sunderland Vs Man C game is the only one I can recall for Man C where they lost because of bad decision. Yaya Toure should of collected at least 5 yellow cards by now and been forced to sit out or too, so ‘karma’ hasn’t come back around for key players to teams either.

  • Laundryender

    @ Bob

    I did not express an opinion,just a fact

    FIFA decide how the game is refereed

    like I say FIFA adminsister the game, deduce what you like.

  • Stuart

    Yes Gooner Gal, I agree.

    If things were evened out we would see the average number of incidents going against being the same as the average number in our favour.

    This very clearly isn’t the case. Come to think of it, have we had a single match this season where more wrong decisions have gone in our favour than against us? I can’t think of any.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Stuart, so far no such game.
    The closest we have been to seeing an even decisions in the wrong calls was twice under Clattenburg where the wrong decisions where almost the same for both teams.
    That is 2 in 20 games!

    And if I mady ad about Yaya Toure: he should have had two red cards already or should have been banned by the FA after the game.
    The stamp on Mata in the Chelsea game was one of those decisions

  • Anne


    American football uses a “challenge” system in a couple of different ways in relation to video technology. I think that both are successful, but only because there’s a check involved to prevent abuse.

    Basically, each team in American football gets three time outs during the game. If the coach wants to challenge a call based on video evidence, he can issue a challenge. If he’s right, and the ref made a bad call, there aren’t any consequences.

    But if he’s wrong, and the ref’s call is determined to be correct, the team loses one if it’s three timeouts. So there aren’t many frivolous challenges. Can you think of any kind of similar check that the EPL could use?

  • Anne


    Oh… you said that there should be a limit on the number of incorrect challenges. Please disregard that last question 🙂

  • Shard


    I think there are fundamental differences between American football because of the stop/start nature of the American game. I’m not sure if there could be a penalty for a frivolous appeal, but I did propose a limit on the number of incorrect challenges. Cross that and you lose your ability to challenge again. Which should act as a check usually, though you can bet if a team is winning and have challenges remaining, they will use them to break the game up in the final minutes. Still, I think that’s a fair price to pay for getting the majority of the major decisions right in the game, and again I don’t think it would result in slowing the game too much. Can anyone think of any other ways in which technology can be used in the game?

  • Stuart

    My thought exactly with regard to the time wasting if teams have challenges remaining. The challenges would have to result in the clock being paused to eradicate abuse of the system.

  • Stuart

    Another factor for consideration would be to make the 3 substitutions into 3 substitutions and/or challenges in total

  • Anne


    I think the biggest difficulty about using video technology in football relates to the issue of stopping play. You would have to stop play for a video review to occur.

    When the ref makes a call, the whistle is blown, and play is stopped.So I think that, if you had a specific instant replay official who was in a position to review the call immediately, you could get a review in before play restarts without disrupting the game too much. So long as you had a limit on which calls could be reviewed.

    However, I’m having trouble thinking of ways that a non-call could be reviewed. If you allowed managers to actually stop play with a challenge, that would really change the game a lot, and opens up much potential for abuse, I’m thinking. Any ideas?

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Stuart – I can’t think of a season in the past five years, where things have averaged out, or better still, tilted in our favour.

    @ Walter – good article and good points. Song or Viera have never been given the free license that Yaya has. I highlight him as he is a key player for Man C and has been important to controlling the midfield as well as getting the best out of Silva.

  • Shard


    That’s not a bad idea, but I think it would be too big a punishment for what could also be an honest error in terms of the team thinking they have a case only to be overruled on video replay. Plus, if all substitutions have been made, what then? Do they go down to 10 men? Like I said I think that is harsh, plus I think it makes it more complicated. I think having a set number of incorrect challenges (probably 2 is enough) is enough in itself.

    In terms of time wasting and time added on, it is a bugbear of mine anyway. I think the time added on should be team specific where if a team wastes time, it will only be added on if the other team wants it to be. So if Arsenal score just before the end of 90 mins against a team that has been wasting time for the past 20 mins, the other team then doesn’t benefit from their ‘cheating’ by getting 5 mins to score.

    However, I think that will require an independent timekeeper and will also result in complicating matters. So I am willing to let things stand as they are now in that regard.

  • Stuart


    Does play really need to stop to review a segment of the game? A manager could signal an issue which would be reviewed by an official on the sidelines who would make a decision. I remember watching a short report with Sam Allardyce whilst at Bolton where he talked through the technology he has in the dug out and a video replay system was part of it. He could rewind play in an instant and watch a challenge / decision etc.., it took seconds

  • davi

    Have to disagree with a couple of these: van persie WAS marginally offside against City (the clip shows this, although there probably isn’t “daylight”, if that is still the rule), and the handball decision was a judgement call – not sure it SHOULD have been a penalty against Richards because he didn’t move towards the ball, and he had no time to react to the ball coming past the two players in front of him.

  • Stuart

    Maybe limiting the number of challenges could be part of it however it is my belief that this should be unlimited as the number of incorrect decisions a ref can make is also unlimited. Having play continue whilst a manager queries with a panel, allowing play to continue seems the only way to introduce it in my mind however there would need to be a time out limit for when calls need to be notified to the pitch side official, say maybe 5 seconds, after that it cannot be called.

  • davi

    IMO video technology should be used in the same way that they use it in the NFL: you have three flags to throw onto the pitch to signal that you want a decision to be reviewed by the video ref. If you are proven right, you get your flag back; if you are wrong, you lose your flag. That stops people from wasting too much time for no reason, and it at least gives aggrieved teams a chance to get the right decision for their side. The only issue I can see is if a side is wanting to hold onto a lead, they could then use any remaining flags to simply waste more time and disrupt the game for the supposedly attacking side.

  • Shard


    Doesn’t American football have the ‘flag’ where play continues even once the ref has called a foul and then the penalty can either be accepted by the team or declined (since they have a better advantage anyway)?

    I think a similar system of play continuing despite a ‘flag’ or a challenge by a manager can be used. Football already uses phases of play for the offside rule and this has grey areas too (yet it is used) Maybe play should continue after a challenge till the ball is out of play and then the prior decision can be reviewed. (this does cause a problem if the ball doesn’t go out for too long).. But maybe a phase of play (with all its grey areas) can be used here. Once the phase of play is complete, play stops to review the challenge.

    Also possible of course is combining the idea of a video ref with the challenge system. The video ref looks at the event when a challenge is made while play continues. If the ref decision was wrong the video ref brings back play.

  • Shard


    I said limiting the number of INCORRECT challenges…something like davi is saying. If the challenge is succesful the club retains the same number of challenges. If it is a wrong challenge, they lose 1 opportunity to challenge.


    Yes. Time wasting by calling a challnge will be an issue but even then I still think it’ll be worth it… I think a challenge should be limited to red cards (either issued or not issued), penalties, and offsides..

  • Stuart

    Yes, I know what you mean however my line of thought is questioning whether we want to discourage managers making border line challenges to decisions / non decisions?

  • Shard

    Yes we do. Because otherwise it’ll become impossible. Every decision is protested these days. A manager should only challenge if he has the conviction that he is right and that he feels it is important enough to make a difference. If they bring in the challenge system, and mike up the referee on the field to explain his decisions to the crowd (as in rugby), they can then heavily punish anyone who berates and shows disrespect to an official. Because then the players and managers have recourse and the refs are also explaining themselves. So there should be no dissent.

  • walter

    Davi, about RVP offside against City: on MOTD2 they showed the images with the line on it and then RVP was level with the last defender.
    I think drawing such a line for the ref-reviewer should be possible within a splits second I think. they do this also sometimes in games in replays. And when the line was visible it was clear that RVP was level and not offside

  • Stuart

    Yes, true that every decision is protested now days but surely given time, players would get used to the fact that their manager is challenging these circumstances and a panel is reviewing the particular occurance in question meaning play would therefore continue.

    I think it could add to a smoother game which is fairer for the players and the paying fans without unnecessary pauses.

  • Stuart


    Being that the line is computer generated it would take a split second to produce it. The human eye could not measure the time taken.

  • Gf60

    @ Shard. Your 11.49
    You realise of course that this will mean AW never being allowed to “not see” the incident? 😮

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    I do believe the PGMOL letting their sub standard refereeing damaging their brand to start. It is because of the coverage. IN most nations its like either you watch it or leave it. Its been only couple of years since Indians saw Real Madrid or Bayern Munich playing live every weekend or else it was only Premier League. You really don’t have much choice as such.

    I remember reading about a small conversation in some blog long back. A guy asked another whats your fav Premier League team and the reply is Manchester United and what next and the answer was Real Madrid.

    Most people don’t really know the difference. Its simple. We are being dished out the same.

    Also those channels which show Bundesliga or Serie A are bundled out in the bylanes of the media by various means. Much more to do with all these Sky controls the sports media across the world far and wide and the same cannot be said of many other networks.

    So the viewer here has not much of a choice. All I can recall is Henry Ford’s quote it can be any color as long as it is black.

    Like that it can be anything as long as its Premier League thats being viewed.

  • Colin

    This is interesting, but it would only be of any significance we would have to look at the effect of referee errors on the club’s overall league position. But to do that you would have to perform the very same analysis for the other 19 teams (i.e. see where their points position would be if not for referee errors).

    It’s a massive task, but it would be really interesting if someone did it, and submitted it to the ref’s body and the FA at the end of the season. Maybe they can should award an alternative league winner’s medal for the true winner (assuming it is different).

    Finally, just a thought – one wonders how much influence betting companies have in the FA and FIFA’s decision not to adopt technology. If referee errors are taken out, punters would find it much easier to predict the results of matches wouldn’t they?

  • bob

    Any chance you could come up with a link to the interview with Fat Sam where he talks about having his own instant video replay setup?

  • Gf60

    I do hope the City-United cup game will be reviewed. Foy should be sent off himself after the decision he just made to send off Kompany.

  • Mahdain

    chris foy is having a blinder right now..fergie must have given riley a bullocking after what happened in the last two games even with his pals webb and dean in charge….chris foy is an absolutely horrendous ref..the shittiest that PGMOL has to offer and thats saying something considering they have the likes of dowd,dean and probert in their ranks…ruined the game completely

  • Mahdain

    i have had enough of this shit…gonna find something better to watch

  • Stuart

    Will have a look, will have to try and remember what year it was.

  • Johnny Deigh

    Regarding Chris Foy’s sending off of Vincent Kompany today in the FA Cup, if you watch the incident again, it wasn’t until Rooney had held out his arms in protest that Foy blew the whistle 2 or 2½ seconds later. The linesman didn’t signal a foul either. Thus Chris Foy wasn’t even going to call it a foul until Rooney told him what to do.

    The FA might as well give Rooney a whistle, a badge, and a set of cards if he is going to be allowed to make game-changing decisions like that.

  • Arun

    Continuing with Deigh, Nani on which the “foul” took place just simply played on.

  • Johnny Deigh

    The thing is that a lot of media are saying that Rooney got Kompany sent off, which he did, but what they are missing is that Foy wouldn’t have even given the foul if Rooney hadn’t complained.

  • mark

    Two on field refs would help and then some video replay.

    I think the league and the sport ought to want the play on the field determine the outcome but it often seems they don’t. Because they do not discipline refs that are poor in their performance or biased (They seem more keen on protecting there own).

    Just one further comment the review has to been done with each team to come up a better idea of which teams get screwed and which teams don’t. Bad officiating has cost Arsenal 10 points so far. What other teams have been hurt? What teams are the “darlings”?

  • Kentetsu

    Somehow not surprising that we are hard done by. Disappointing, but this is what we can expect. There is no level playing field in the EPL (or Champions League for that matter) where teams will be victorious on their own merit, either through skill or graft or occassionally with luck. The influence of the ref is too big and for everyone to see if they wish to open their eyes.

    That said, the article does not give a complete picture of the effects of the mentioned decisions. Take the Fulham game for example, if we would have got the penalty and been 2-0 up, I expect we would have taken all three points. The whole flow of the game would have changed.

    As for video review, it is baffling that it is still not introduced in football. The FA could unilaterally introduce it, risking expulsion from FIFA and UEFA, although I doubt that would actually happen. In particular UEFA with the Champions League is too dependent on the participation of the English teams.
    The way to introduce video review would be to have a dedicated video ref in the stadium with full access to all camera views. For every major contentious decision – red card, penalty, goal – the video ref could do a review, even if it completely escapes the field ref’s attention and play goes on uninterrupted. It will take the video ref no more than ten seconds in most cases and as all the refs are in direct communication with each other these days, it is very easy to inform the field ref of a foul he missed or rectify his decision. This will hardly influence the flow of the game.
    To ensure the impartiality of the video ref, the broadcaster will have to show various replays of the incident clearly highlighting why there was or wasn’t a foul. Expert commentary – meaning: by people who have a clue what they’re talking about – would help a lot in informing the people why a decision was made one way or the other.

  • Ed

    with the rubbish performances of Jones, Rio and Evra, and anonymity of pretty much everyone else in their team… i think Chris Foy was their Man of the Match.

    With these reviews, i think maybe we can get some other teams fan sites to start doing ref reviews as well, then at the end of the year, we tally up how many points have been won/lost because of ref mistakes, and then have the “Legitimate Premier League”. My hope is that this will eventually gain more credance than the corrupt FA Premier League and that this title will be recognised by most of the world.

  • Stuart


    I’m not having much luck in finding a clip of that video. I saw it when it was broadcast, I believe on Sky.

  • Damien Luu

    @Mark: We already have two refs on the field in every game that Rooney plays, don’t we? 😉