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Nicholson: it’s time to look at goal-line technology


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http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/633812

By Michael Gannon

 

Published: 12/05/2008

 

Aberdeen midfielder Barry Nicholson believes it is time to introduce goal-line technology in football after being denied a goal in the Dons’ 2-1 defeat at Motherwell on Saturday.

 

With the scores at 1-1 Nicholson appeared to have given Aberdeen a late lead at Fir Park but assistant referee Martin Cryans ruled the ball had not crossed the line, although television replays showed the opposite.

 

The Steelmen proceeded to claim all three points as Chris Porter scored a late winner after Sone Aluko had pulled the Dons level with a spectacular volley.

 

Defeat ended Aberdeen’s hopes of finishing third in the SPL and qualifying for next season’s Uefa Cup. It was the second controversial decision to cost them in the space of a few weeks.

 

Zander Diamond had a goal ruled out at Celtic Park three weeks ago when no offence had taken place and Nicholson said the two refereeing errors have hurt his side.

 

He said: “I thought the ball was in and the television replays showed it was.

 

“It is another refereeing decision which has cost us. It should have stood and that would have changed the complexion of the game. At 2-1 up we would have sat in a bit more but instead we were pushing forward for the win and got caught on the counterattack.

 

“It is a difficult one for us to take. Games change on refereeing decisions and it seems to be happening quite often.

 

“I am not going to criticise referees, they have a difficult job, but two big decisions recently have really cost us.â€

 

Nicholson continued: “We had the goal disallowed at Parkhead which cost us a point and then the one on Saturday might have cost us three.

 

“It is about time to look at using technology. I would not want to see the game stopping for every decision but certainly for things such as the ball crossing the line.

 

“It is disappointing we have not made it back into Europe. We were written off by a lot of people but we managed to hang in there and almost got it down to the last game.â€

 

Nicholson is hoping to have his future secured within the next two weeks. The midfielder is a free agent in the summer and is in discussion with several clubs in the English Championship and League 1.

 

Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood also held more talks on Friday with Reds forward Lee Miller, who is also out of contract.

 

The 24-year-old, however, was unable to give the club a firm decision on his plans.

 

The attacker is keeping his options open but Calderwood wants an answer either way to allow him to plan for next season.

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2 things.

 

1 - How hard is it in this day and age to get something like this to work?

 

2 - I disagree, you win some you lose some.  Leave things the way they are cos I like shouting at refs.

 

You also have the problem of what level do you bring it in.

 

Only SPL? Only the Scottish League? Highland League? Juniors? Boys club? Weekly 5-aside? Jumpers for goal posts?

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They use 'video evidence' in rugby, so why can't they use it in football?

 

They use an oval-shaped ball in rugby, so why can't they use it in football?

 

You can use video technology in rugby because regardless of whether or not a try has been scored, the game is dead. The ball has either been touched down for a score, or has been killed by the defence, or gone into touch. Rugby offers you a natural break in play to do this.

 

Say that Motherwell had gone straight up the other end of the pitch and scored after Nicholson's shot was parried the other day: what do you do if you use that break in play to determine whether or not we had scored? If it's going to mean anything at all, you have to award us the goal, but how then can you logically allow Motherwell's goal to stand as well? At the same time, how can you justify chalking their goal off, given that the game should be played according to the referee's whistle?

 

Football and in-game video technology are not readily compatible: simple as.

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Lets forget the whole TV replay stuff. Thats just asking for trouble

Last year the same people that do the touchline technology for Tennis had worked out a system for football in which if the ball crossed the goal line then a signal was instantly sent to the referee. It was going to be tested in the u19 world cup (or some other similar tournament) but out of nowhere either FIFA or UEFA suddenly turned their back on it and started to back having extra referees on the pitch.

 

Personally Id prefer the system they use (or at least used to) in NHL Ice Hockey which was as soon as the puck crossed the line a light lit up on the net and a siren was sounded.

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I think it could work perfectly well if there was a will to look at it. We've had more than enough examples at Fir Park, Ibrox, JJB et al this weekend alone, to suggest it is overdue.

 

On what basis do you say it would perfectly well?

 

The fact that we've had some dodgy refereeing decisions doesn't mean that football as a sport is so fundamentally flawed that we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater and change the entire way we officiate matches.

 

What's needed is a better standard of refereeing, not a total knee-jerk revolution of the way we deal with big decisions.

 

Why use it for goal-line decisions and not sendings-off? Why not for yellow cards? Why not for disputed throw-ins?

 

Introducing this would create far, far more problems than it could ever hope to solve.

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On what basis do you say it would perfectly well?

 

I didn't. I said it could, if there was a will to.

 

As a bare minimum, we could easily introduce goal line camera's - the technology has already been developed and is ready to go.

 

For example, for all EPL and SPL matches, we already have television coverage. We could have a fourth (or fifth) official watching monitors in conjuction with the TV service providers, and replay incidents there and then, and advise the ref through his earpiece.

 

You could even grant each manager 3 "reviews", where even if the official who's watching the monitors doesn't see it, each team has the right to question, and flag up an incident for review by the TV ref. Replays are instant, and what would it add to a match - 5 minutes total?

 

I'm not advocating giving teams the right to question, I'm just giving an example of how it might be expanded in an "out the box" scenario. I am saying that if there is a will to embrace technology, it's already available and it could be used without any adverse effect on the game. I think Nicholson is totally correct.

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I didn't. I said it could, if there was a will to.

 

As a bare minimum, we could easily introduce goal line camera's - the technology has already been developed and is ready to go.

 

For example, for all EPL and SPL matches, we already have television coverage. We could have a fourth (or fifth) official watching monitors in conjuction with the TV service providers, and replay incidents there and then, and advise the ref through his earpiece.

 

You could even grant each manager 3 "reviews", where even if the official who's watching the monitors doesn't see it, each team has the right to question, and flag up an incident for review by the TV ref. Replays are instant, and what would it add to a match - 5 minutes total?

 

I'm not advocating giving teams the right to question, I'm just giving an example of how it might be expanded in an "out the box" scenario. I am saying that if there is a will to embrace technology, it's already available and it could be used without any adverse effect on the game. I think Nicholson is totally correct.

 

Well then, on what basis do you think this could work well? You haven't made any real case for it.

 

Despite what you say, replays are never instantaneous. The kind of decisions we're talking about - by their nature - are likely to require repeated veiwings before a cast-iron decision can be made. How then would you deal with the fundamental issue of stoppage in play I raised above? You can't allow the game to continue because if you do, by the time a 5th official has had a proper look at the evidence, the other team could have scored, or won a penalty. Say you do stop the game to look at this and find the ball hadn't crossed the line: what do you do? A drop-ball on the goal-line? A recipe for absolute carnage, and the kind of scenario where you could envisage replay after replay after replay after replay being requested; a vicious circle, if you will.

 

And why restrict managers to 3 options to review TV evidence? Seems rather arbitrary. If it's because you think it would slow the game down, then that's a perfect argument against your own point of view on this matter.

 

There are simply too many contradictions and logical gaps within the proposals for the use of this kind of technology when it comes to the unique characteristics of football.

 

Anyway, the evidence from rugby union (with two prominent examples in last year's World Cup) shows that the system is far from infallible, and is still open to human error in the way that on-the-spot refereeing decisions are.

 

Football as a sport simply doesn't lend itself to the use of replays to decide major incidents.

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We need to improve the referees we currently have instead of trying to introduce technology which will only complicate things further. Introducing a video replay of an incident only leaves things open to further interpretation - not necessarily the correct decision.

 

Football is a simple game, and thats the way it should stay - the more in touch Professional football is with the game that kids play in the park, the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1. No I haven't. I just said it could if there was a will to i.e. existing technology is available.

 

2. That is your opinion. You could be right.

 

1. So you advocate messing with the way football is run on the basis that it could work, despite nobody really seeming to have thought it through, and despite the fundamental problems I've highlighted? Let's hope that UEFA give it slightly more enlightened consideration. On an aside, I have plenty of will to flap my arms and soar all the way to Australia for a cheap holiday this winter, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen.

 

2. Wow; that's really advanced the debate. Maybe if you tried to justify your point of view in light of the objections I've politely raised to your arguments, we could pay homage to the time-honoured method of debate and actually get somewhere on this topic, instead of you just posting sulky remarks like that.

 

Was it not you that was decrying the standard of debate on AFC-Chat just a few weeks ago?

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1. So you advocate messing with the way football is run on the basis that it could work, despite nobody really seeming to have thought it through, and despite the fundamental problems I've highlighted? Let's hope that UEFA give it slightly more enlightened consideration. On an aside, I have plenty of will to flap my arms and soar all the way to Australia for a cheap holiday this winter, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen.

 

2. Wow; that's really advanced the debate. Maybe if you tried to justify your point of view in light of the objections I've politely raised to your arguments, we could pay homage to the time-honoured method of debate and actually get somewhere on this topic, instead of you just posting sulky remarks like that.

 

Was it not you that was decrying the standard of debate on AFC-Chat just a few weeks ago?

 

I never advocated anything. If you read what I wrote, all I said is that it could work if the will to make it work was there, and that there is technology available to utilise. That is all I said. I don't have a particularly strong view on it, I haven't thought it through all the way to the practicality of every detail, nor has anyone in world football yet, nor do I plan to, unless I do suddenly grow a strength of feeling that deserves further examination. I do suspect that the game could do with it, for the top divisions, as there are so many fuck-ups that are coming up every single weekend. The panel on Scotsport just now are absolutely adamant that Video Technology should now be used, like Barry Nicholson said in the paper. My opinion is not as nearly as strong as John Colquhoun's though, so I'm listening to the points being made on this thread and learning some good stuff. I particularly understand the point to have consistency in officiating across all divisions, but suspect that there is now a valid argument for introducing it for the premier leagues.

 

Trust me, it was not intended as a flippant or sulky remark. I do believe that you may be right, and my opinion is not strong enough to put up a fierce argument. As you've referred to my previous posts, you will know that if I believe in something strongly, I will fight for it, but if you don't mind, I'll just keep my own impression or opinion just now, inconcrete as it may be, rather than take the absolute view, a fixed position that I never even took. There have been some good points coming up here, and you've been making alot of them. If there is concensus that we need it, then it could work. You have obviously taken the fixed view against it already, and I'm listening. I just think that further debate will now be required at UEFA level before a decision for the future is taken. I support the need for that debate to take place, as does Scotsport and Levein and Nicholson, and thats just views in the last 24 hours.

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I particularly understand the point to have consistency in officiating across all divisions, but suspect that there is now a valid argument for introducing it for the premier leagues.

 

This is how professional rugby utilises video refereeing. The top leagues such as the Premiership and the southern hemisphere's Super14 utilise video referees. All leagues below these still rely on traditional referee/linesman eyes to make the decisions.

 

There's absolutely no reason why a system like the one mentioned in pro tennis can't be used in the world's most lucrative sport. I mean, a beam running across the goalline, coupled with a magnetive trigger built into the match ball would surely give us a means of telling immediately whether the ball had crossed the line or not.

 

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This is how professional rugby utilises video refereeing. The top leagues such as the Premiership and the southern hemisphere's Super14 utilise video referees. All leagues below these still rely on traditional referee/linesman eyes to make the decisions.

 

There's absolutely no reason why a system like the one mentioned in pro tennis can't be used in the world's most lucrative sport. I mean, a beam running across the goalline, coupled with a magnetive trigger built into the match ball would surely give us a means of telling immediately whether the ball had crossed the line or not.

 

 

You don't need a trigger in the ball. The technology has been available for two or three years for a number of tiny camera's to prove incontrovertibly whether the ball crossed the line or not. It's an English company but the numbers they were talking was just ridiculous. If there is a will to consider VT, and if the debate takes place at UEFA, and if the research is conducted professionally, and if they decide to go forward with it, at the very least we would never have goals like Nicholson's on Saturday not given. How could any referee make a decision whether or not the whole ball croseed the line? It's impossible. Linesman must have had his head up his arse though.

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