The Premier League season is almost at an end and I think it has been a weird season to say the least.  The two epic fails of this season are the FA and the Referee’s.  Both have been diabolical in terms of decisions and the way things have been handled.

Referees have had a tough season.  They have come under a lot of scrutiny for their decision making.  Some of the decisions have been debatable and some have been very clear cut in being right or wrong.  But the last few weeks have had some of the worst refereeing decisions I think I have ever seen.

  • Fulham v United when Carrick’s shocking tackle went unseen, as did Ashley Young’s diving dramas twice, one of which was an offside. 
  • There was the Wigan v Chelsea game when both Chelsea goals were blatant offsides.
  • Arsenal v Man City when Balotelli nearly broke Song’s leg in half plus various other fouls that went ‘unnoticed'
  • The other one that springs to mind is the more recent one of Spurs v Chelsea in the FA cup with that infamous ‘goal’ and whether it was across the line. (which it didn’t in my opinion)

 

All of these games were shaping up to be great games until these incidents happened and then it makes even the impartial viewers mad that this is allowed to happen nowadays.  I know we can’t know for sure how much of an effect it has on a game but either way it is not right that this has had to carry on.

With refs making decisions like this that affect the game hugely in terms of outcome, penalties and generally faith and morale its fair to see why they have been accused of being biased and some have even said that maybe they need to be retrained.  There is a referee league in place; but this only enables us to see who has been the most card happy during the season. I understand that refs are not always in the line of vision but there are 2 other linesman plus a fourth official, surely this should cover most angles of a pitch.

It seems that there only two solutions to this situation-first would be a complaints procedure and a points table for refs- a chance for managers to complain about the decisions they do not agree with and the points table would be for referee’s to be deducted or given points accordingly to their progress within the game. So if they go below a certain amount of points then they have to either referee less games or go to a lower league.  Not fair you say? But it’s not fair when a team has a decision go against them either. 

The other alternative is the much called for Video evidence.  This is the most obvious and RIGHT solution for these problems.  Whilst I think referees do have to take some responsibility for their actions and decisions I think it is time for the FA to step up and intervene and insist that Video technology is used next season. In a world where most sports use video technology it is shocking that we have not used it yet, despite calls from managers, players and fans.  FIFA insist that to use video technology “the human error and continuity of the game would be lost”-I believe that this occurs anyway when you have 22 players plus managers stopping a game because they are debating/arguing with a referee over a decision.  

FIFA are apparently going to ‘Trial’ goal line technology during the Euro’s but as much as that is a start it is still not enough.  They have had 9 different methods of goal line technology submitted to be tried out, some of which includes a sensor in a ball and on a goal line (Cairos GLT System), A set of 6 cameras watching from every angle and calculates whether the ball has crossed the line (Hawk-eye), this system has been used but criticised in other sports and finally a high speed camera which is built into the goalposts and captures the moment a ball crosses the line (Goalminder). In my opinion out of these technologies, I believe that the Cairos GLT System would be the best. It’s innovative and extremely easy to use and is the least time taxing invention.

I believe that when approved goal line technology will be a very big improvement in the sense of disallowed goals and seeing whether goals are over the line. But we still need to address the issue of Video technology for fouls and dives.  There have been several cases this year that have not been dealt with in the right way due to referees/linesmen missing the incident.  If the FA are not able to bring in video technology then I think it is up to them to start bringing in new rules that allow incidents like this to be dealt with-by them after a game.  There needs to be a system in place where diving players and players who commit serious fouls to be dealt with.  For example they punished Ivanovic for his punch against a Wigan player which is fair but in other instances like Ashley young’s dive, or Balotelli’s horrendous tackle on Song- these players are getting away with it. Shaun Derry should also have had his red card overturned.

The FA could do with a modernisation of views and a different approach to their decisions and system on which they make decisions upon.  They don’t seem very organised and in control anymore. Their methods and views are outdated and they seem to have less and less power on making decisions that are related to English football.  They are taking the excitement and passion out of English football by conforming to everything Sepp Blatter wants.  We all know that it’s FIFA that really runs the show but The FA need to take a stand against them sometimes.

The decisions they make only add to the chaos that is the FA this season.  We are without an England manager a month before a major tournament due to their unnecessary meddling within the team.  They contributed the failure of the England team at the World cup 2 years ago by taking the captaincy off John Terry for an issue related to his personal life.  I thought it was a bad decision then and I don’t agree with the decision they have made again this year-albeit this years decision was based on a football related issue. Despite what people think of John Terry- you wouldn’t trust him with your wife and he has ALLEGEDLY made a racist remark, but he is a great captain for Club and Country and he does not deserve to have his captaincy taken again. 

I believe “innocent until proven guilty” would have been the best way to deal with the captaincy issue.  It’s the moral decision to make and stick by.  Instead FA allowed themselves to be pressurised by the media, therefore causing Fabio Capello to resign.  The FA are yet to appoint a new manager but whoever they do appoint will have to accept that really the FA are in charge if they don’t like what you decide.