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What Hope Is There If They Can’t Do The Basics?
Coloradored (Liverpool) 2 years ago
Eluded to? Try alluded to
Nickstirling (Manchester United) 2 years ago
I think this is a completely ridiculous article. You have used no objectivity at all, and it stinks of sour grapes.

I agree that referees make a sh*t load of mistakes, but I do not think that this is deliberately in favour of the big teams. Without delving in to the statistics (I have a life and a job) I would suggest that the higher number of penalties awarded to the 'big teams' (as an example) is simply down to them having more possession, particularly in the final third, particularly in the final minutes of matches where pressure often takes its toll and defenders make mistakes. When a team spends a sizable portion of a game parked in the opposition's box, there is going to be lots of action. Ball to hands or hand balls. Goal mouth scrambles where the ball may or may not have crossed the line. Fouls, dives (I totally agree that United's penalty v QPR was a disgraceful decision and we will now never know what 'would have been').

Referees should be given the chance to get these big decisions right. But football is an incredibly difficult game to officiate. Often there are comparisons drawn with rugby, where the refereeing system generally works well the majority of the time. The difference though is that rugby has clear action zones where things are going to happen. Two lines face off against each other. Football spans the whole field, and the ball can be passed as far as a person can kick it, moving a lot faster than a referee can.

An example of an unmanageable situation:
There is a change of possession on one team's goal line, the ball is hit 70 yards down the field and a striker, say a young Thierry Henry (that is an awful lot faster than any referee will ever be) takes possession of the ball, two seconds later he rounds the keeper and goes down. The action took place on the far side from the nearest linesman so he was unsighted. The referee is now 40 yards away without a perfect view.

I know this example is not relevant to your rant that is heavily targetted at the United QPR match, but it is intended to point out simply that football needs to change the way it is officiated. My example is not far fetched, and I would suggest quite common really. How can a professional sport with millions of pounds exchanging hands over results that affect league positioning, qualification for lucrative European touranaments, future sponsorship, etc, get things wrong so consistently.

Another example that is quite straight forward is the common offiside. The linesman has to look at two objects in different places at the same time. If the ball is passed 30 yards forward, originating from the half-way line, and the striker collects the ball between the last defender and the goalkeeper, there is no way that he was looking at the pass and the receiver at the same time - physically impossible. Linesman have to guestimate in these situations based on their perception of the speed the receiver is moving at etc. Thierry Henry suffered at the hands of linesman so many times in his day because he would receive the ball 10 yards beyond the final defender and the linesman guessed that he was offside, when the reality was often that he was 2-3 yeards onside - just too quick for his own good.

Bottom line is bitching about the referees is pointless. If there were better referees they would be employed. There needs to be a change. Rugby uses tv officiating for decisions such as trys that were not clearly in view of the ref. In theory this could be applied to football for penalties, red cards, off-sides that lead to goals. They could allow play to continue while the tv official reviews the tape - then if neccessary they can stop the match 30 seconds later and go back for the decision. I don't think this is ideal either though due to the fluid nature of football. American football approaches the problem with far more officials looking at various aspects of the match. They have the following: "referee, umpire, head linesman, line judge, back judge, side judge, and field judge". Don't ask what they do, I don't know or really care. But the NFL is an example of a sport that is more similar to football. The ball can cover large areas of the field much faster than one referee can. Solution - have more referees?

Some people like tradition and nostalgia. They think that football is a 'pure' sport that must be protected from any significant rule changes. Sepp Blatter is one of these people, and he is an utter moron, and is the main reason why these issues haven't been addressed. I actually recall reading a statement of his saying that refereeing mistakes were an important part of the fun of football!?! Not very funny when a team falls fowl of a decision and is relegated because of it, then goes in to administration.

My view is that it would be great to have perfect referees, so that we can keep things as is with fewer or no mistakes - BUT WE don't. So let's get realistic about this professional sport, and put in place systems that can account for human error that is inevitable...
Franky4fingers (Barcelona) 2 years ago
Basically people want to find reasons for why a certain team is more successful than their team. It is much easier to blame refs for a team's continued success rather than look at their own team and wonder what they could do to change their fortunes. Manchester United and Barcelona face the same criticism from fans of other teams. Apparently, both these clubs pay FA and UEFA well enough that everything is kept under cover. Never mind the fact that about 9 different teams have gone to the last stages of the UCL and we've had 5 different winners in the last 7 years. Like you said, human error is inevitable. Adding video replays could solve the problem but football will turn into something like american sports where the game stops every 5 mins for breaks. Who wants to see a football game like that? Not me
Flavio1975 (CA River Plate) 2 years ago
Bring in the technology already! Whats the worst that can happen? We go back to not using it. Its true, this issue has been going on for too long and its not going anywhere. How long are we gonna' keep blamin´ the refs? FIFA do something.... Or will there be too much financial loss if the big teams don't get those lucky breaks?
Nickstirling (Manchester United) 2 years ago
I half agree with you. One point I would raise though is that it does definitely work both ways. I am a big United fan, we have a fair share of good luck. That said, Jose Mourinho's Porto beat United in the Champions League in 2004, and went on to win the tournament, beating Lyon, Deportivo and Monaco (no Real's, Barca's, Inter's, Milan's). The knock on affects in European football are far reaching, Mourinho to Chelsea, now to Real, etc. Note that Paul Scholes had a clear goal wrongfully disallowed for offside late in the tie against Porto. This goal would have put United through. Who knows how far they would have progressed beyond that, but each additional round reached in the UCL provides tv rights anyway, so at the bear minimum there was real money lost.

I am not hung up on this, because every team has a 'what if the ref got that one right' argument. All I am saying is that FIFA / UEFA should just be trying to do something to make sure the decisions are the right ones in the future...
[account-removed] 2 years ago
I'm not even expecting the ref to be always 100% correct. Just get the general calls right i'll be fine.  
Truepass (Barcelona) 2 years ago
Majority of these referees and linesman are United fan.... I bet they all wearing a United t-shirt under their uniform.



   
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