Another weekend passed and once again the officials took centre stage but for all the wrong reasons. Chris Foy was the pantomime villain, although Harry Redknapp and Tottenham didn’t find it very funny.
The referee had a shocking game at the Britannia and while the neutrals clamour (as they always do when the refs have a shocker) for technology, the reality is that officiating is simply getting worse and you shouldn’t need someone with a monitor to tell a linesman when a player is 3yrds onside, while referees should know that blatant handballs in the box actually constitutes a penalty for the attacking side and a subsequent red card.
Foy went the other way and turned a blind eye to the penalties, before sending off Younes Kaboul for questioning his failings. If referees cannot get even the basics right; then my worst fears about the introduction of technology will come to the fore.
I am all for technology in football when it comes to decisions like sending offs, penalties, and of course goal-line technology; however my continued concern against it is where will it end? Would football end up following the same route as Rugby or Tennis when you find teams appealing for every decision and calling on refs to get video assistance?
It will certainly ruin the ebb and flow of the game, especially as I feel that the majority of challenges will be unfounded. But are we going to be left with any other option, if the likes of Chris Foy and the assistant referees cannot get even the most basic details and decisions right.
So where does football go from here and want is the answer to the declining standards? Harry Redknapp mooted the idea of two referees, but is that really going to help matters, given the nature of the mistakes we witnessed over the weekend.
Some say we should make referees stand court after a game and be open to questioning – a nice idea but flawed given referees will probably hide behind statements like ‘I didn’t see it’. It is certainly a worrying situation and one that has no long-term fix, unless the FA get tough with those who are failing and look to give them greater assistance on the sidelines in making crucial decisions.
The refereeing training programme needs improving and officials need to be made fully aware that they’ll be penalised for continued failings. If Tottenham miss out on the Champions League by a point come the end of the season, then the officials at the Britannia will have cost the club something in the region of £20-40m for their negligence to the rule book; an expensive mistake and ones that the FA should look to start preventing in the future.
Courtesy of FootballFanCast.com‘s Chief Editor