May 2nd, 2011
05:04 PM ET

Has the time arrived for change in football?

Heurelho Gomes scrambles to try and prevent Frank Lampard's shot from creeping over the line.
Heurelho Gomes scrambles to try and prevent Frank Lampard's shot from creeping over the line.
Events in England and Spain over the last week showed once again that football desperately needs technology in order to maintain its credibility with fans, in the present and in the future.

In the English Premier League this past weekend, Chelsea maintained their title hopes by beating Tottenham thanks to a goal that wasn’t and another that was scored in an offside position.

Meanwhile, in the Champions League, the semifinal between Real Madrid and Barcelona was damaged when the match referee wrongly sent off a Real player after he had not made contact with his opponent.

How do we know the referees made the wrong decisions? Well, we had the luxury of watching countless replays from different angles on television. It didn’t take long for us to realize what had happened and what the officials didn’t see.

Let’s start with what transpired at Stamford Bridge this past Saturday in the match between Chelsea and Spurs.

The Blues were down 1-0 when a shot from Frank Lampard was spilled by Heurelho Gomes.

The ball trickled towards the goal but was saved on the line by the Brazilian keeper. This was clear to all television viewers within seconds.

However, to the referee and his assistants, it went in. Chelsea were back on level terms with a goal that wasn’t.

In the second half, with the match heading for a draw, Salomon Kalou hit the back of the net for the home side.

Again, within seconds, viewers following the game on television saw the Ivory Coast international was in an offside position when he beat Gomes.

The officials didn’t have the benefit of any replay and validated the goal. Game over. Chelsea beat Spurs and moved within three points of league leaders Manchester United.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am in no way suggesting that Chelsea were deliberately helped by referees in this game.

What I am saying is that the officials made two honest mistakes, like they often make in important games. Is this OK? No. Not anymore.

Something needs to be done about it in order for fans to stop feeling like they are being cheated week in and week out.

I will get into the solutions later, but first, let me present another problem which is common in football these days.

At the Santiago Bernabeu, last Wednesday, Barcelona deservedly beat Real Madrid 2-0.

There is no doubt in my mind that Pep Guardiola’s team was better and I am not questioning that.

However, Barca’s job was made easier when the referee sent off Real Madrid's Pepe. The Portuguese international received a red card after he made a challenge on Dani Alves.

The Brazilian defender rolled around on the ground like he had been shot, and the official gave Pepe his marching orders.

It was the wrong decision. Replays showed the Real player didn’t make contact with Alves and no foul should have been awarded.

If you were watching the game on TV, I am sure you were disappointed. An intense, tough battle had been tainted.

Barcelona went on to win, with two goals from Leo Messi but as an impartial fan, I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth.

Now, the question here is not who benefited from the decision and who didn’t. Contrary to what Jose Mourinho alleged, I don't believe there are any dark forces working behind the scenes to help Barcelona win the Champions League.

What I do believe with all my mind, body and soul, is that we need transparency in all decisions made by referees in the world’s top competitions.

So what needs to be done?

First of all, all major continental competitions should adopt goal line technology starting next season.

FIFA and UEFA have enough money in the bank to invest in making their game a better game.

I have spoken with FIFA president Sepp Blatter various times about this issue and he has admitted that there are various systems that work.

So pick one and start using it. There is simply too much at stake for players, coaches and teams, for wrong goal-line decisions to be made week in and week out.

Secondly, instant TV replays should be tested at youth tournaments around the world and they should be adopted at the top level within the next five years.

At a time when technology helps us all in our jobs every day, why can’t it help referees as well?

Perhaps teams could have three TV replay challenges to use during a game. The fourth official, who already has a monitor at his disposal, could easily make a decision within seconds.

He could review offside decisions, penalty decisions and controversial incidents at a moment’s notice. There would be no need to waste too much time.

And besides, have you thought about all the time that is wasted now when players fake injuries and when they argue with referees?

In my opinion these two changes would help us all look at football in a different way. There would be less controversy, less negativity in the sport, and more discussions about what needs to be discussed: the game itself.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Edward

    Didn't we have this exact same discussion a few months ago during the WC in South Africa? And I guess we'll have it again and again – perhaps until Blatter dies because there's no way he's going to step down.

    May 2, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
  2. Yusuf

    Agreed with you 110%. the only ever two things that has so severally made me to contemplate given up my love for the wonderful and exciting sport of football/soccer are the lack of transparency in the administration of the sport and the ever so frequent dubious decisions of the match officials. Of recent Chelsea/ spurs,ManU/ Arsenal, Barca/Real and of near distance fast: CHelsea/ Barca in the UEFA Semi etc, etc.
    Please remind them all that Football/soccer is just more than a game. It is a business to many and a life to others and a religion ton even many more. Save the game be wise employ technology as it is readily available, thus the refusal to use it in ensuring oppeness, justice and accuracy would leave us with doubts as to the overall integrity of the sport.

    May 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  3. jorgen friis

    I have said it before and I will say it again that to maintain status quo and NOT to use technology in whichever form to help arriving at correct decisions is a fallacy. The game has evolved but the decision making
    process has not. The stakes for all concerned are enormous and, therefore, any help to arrive at correct decisions must be applied. Video technology must be introduced without any further delays.

    May 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  4. Killian Donnellan

    I have got a simple idea that will fix football forever. Use hawk eye technology to decide if a goal was scored or not. And to stop players cheating like busquets ,pedro, ronaldo, drogba and countless others how about after a match if a team feels that another teams player have cheated by faking injury and diving then review replays after the match. If the replay shows the player dived then ban him for 3 games. And finally if a player wants another player to be booked so badly then the referee should say if u want card here is a red one for you your off the pitch. It stops the cheating and brings credability back to the game. The players that I have named above are a cancer to the game that need to be cut out now!

    May 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  5. alehandro

    How many more controversies does football need before coming into the 21st century? Every possible piece of technology should be used to ensure fair play. Gomes didn't concede. Kalou was offside. Alves wasn't touched. That's just a week's worth of high profile mistakes, and it happens EVERY week at some professional level of the game worldwide. Someone should tell FIFA that human error is inevitable but not desirable! Wake up and smell the coffee.

    May 2, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  6. HBE

    Yeah, yeah. Of course, you kick in a lot of open doors. You write your article as if you are the first to consider all advantages.

    Besides, it does not matter whether Pepe actually touched Dani Alves or not: in principle his action should already be rewarded a red card, since his action brought a lot of risk of injuries to his opponent. Instead of moaning about the red card, Pepe should be happy that either he did not hit Dani Alves or, if he had hit him actually, Dani Alves was not really injured.

    Ergo: the Pepe case should not change either with or without cameras. I fully agree with your point about goalline cameras. Off side cameras open discussions about a lot of other actions in the field and therefore should not be allowed.

    May 2, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  7. michael anakwe

    well pedro, may b my knowledge of the rules of the game of football may be warped or obsolete,othrwise a ball on the line is a goal! however,gomes frantic effort to correct his mistake and the roar from the chelsea supporters was what the officials used in applying that wisdom. so also many other factors, like players confrontating the officials on and off the field of play, the ego of these well paid stars, the status or tradition of a club, the rantings and criticisms of the coaches and owners,coaches complaining to the officials during half time and so many other flimsy and incredible reasons influence the decisions of the officials. very well, the introduction of a goal line technology and other sport aiding gadgets will go a ong way in improving the quality of the game. but how do these aforementioned contributiin factors be addressed. this is more than technology. it is more of adopting the erroding attitude of sportmanship.

    May 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Reply
  8. Alfonso

    Soccer is a beautiful sport. From dancing with the ball and tricking the guy that is in front of you. It is great. Although, alot of the times it makes me mad when i hear "The goal that should have or should'nt have been." I have seen many games where some of the games should have been a goal but of course the ref can't get this right. The same with goals that should'nt have been. Where one player if completely offside and the refs do not call it...and of course they score like the Chelsea game this past weekend. These games, especially at the end of the season, should be reviewed or have some type of technology to help out the sport.
    What i think we should not do though is put a chip in the ball. That really didnt work with hockey so dont try it with soccer.
    But what i think should work would be the instant replay to decide if the ball was in or out of the goal line or if that one player was offside. The way to do this is get an extra ref. No not in the field but one right behind the 4th ref (the one who subs. players in and out during a game) and let him be the one who decides what is the out come of the situation. This ref will have 3 different screens to view if it was a goal or if it was offsides. The ref who is sitting viewing the video of what should have been or not can decided quickly if it was in or not or if it was offside or not. To communicate with the head ref. they would have to have the same device that the head ref had (You know, the ear piece and let him know within seconds if it was a goal or not or whatever it the situation was). Communication will be the key to help this game go alot better and not have these problems with offsides or "the goal that should have been." Viewing the problem quickly and telling the head ref within some second (i am guessing within like 20 seconds of the game) will make the game continue to be the most beautiful game in the world.

    By the way this is my opinion of what FIFA or the UEFA or any other league around the world should do to improve this game.

    Another thing that i do like that they did improve on was having extra refs on the side of the goal posts in the UEFA Champions league to see if the ball was in or not. With technology, this will make it even better but also long as we dont pause the game and let the head ref to view the screen and see if it was goal, offside or a foul like American Football. That would just kill the game.

    May 2, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  9. northby9

    The fact about the players faking injury is critical. If they know there was an appeal process that would likely get them awarded a yellow card for diving, they would be much slower to go down. That would save a lot of time – which is constantly FIFA's argument for not adopting it.

    May 2, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Reply
  10. whodat

    it will never be introduced, so as to be able to cheat for big teams when they can. FiFA and other football Associations are all corrupt. it is a matter of who is the highest bidder and who is able to bribe the most.

    May 3, 2011 at 1:21 am | Reply
  11. arti

    Pedro Pinto is anything but impartial! Those two Portuguese (Mourinho and Pepe) are bad for football. Way too dirty!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:05 am | Reply
  12. kevin kelly

    this kind of wrong decisions will continue to happen on the pitch and uefa will never listen until big violence surface and cause heavy damages either to ref. or to other officials due to their poor decision and wickedness

    May 3, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  13. Rodrigo

    They REALLY need to improve the game of soccer, it's getting embarassing.

    Blatter is an old man with no vision at all, there are so many things that can be done.

    First of, allow TV replays to change a ruling.

    Second, get rid of that silly "stoppage time" and make the clock to stop when the game is not in play. This would stop the players from pretending injuries to stall the game when their team is winning.

    Back here in South America, the Libertadores cup is not watchable anymore. It's always going like this: Team A is winning on aggregate and it's the second leg match, when the game clock hits 70 (25 on the second half), the game is essentially over. Players will keep falling to the ground all the time, they will take 30 seconds or more to put the ball in play after a foul or when the ball is out of bounds. It's disgusting. And in the end the referee adds 3 or 4 minutes TOPS. Not to mention these 3 or 4 minutes will also be stalled to death.

    Here's an idea, make the game clock stop when the bound is not in play, and when the clock hits 45, the game can end ONLY when the ball is put out of bounds.

    Another idea, allow TV replays for coaches to challenge calls. Offsides, out of bounds possessions, yellow cards/red cards, ball inside the goal line or not, fouls.

    May 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  14. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Here even in our remote Indian villages football fans have unflinching faith in modern technology. It's strange that in advanced countries football governing bodies feel shy and reluctant to have recourse to technological assists to enhance the beauty of the Beautiful Game.

    May 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  15. Saaliha_TT

    Football needs to take a lesson from cricket. The sport of cricket has evolved so much over the past yers with the rules being much stricter and complex now. However, for the longest while there've always been a third umpire that is called upon to make tough decisions when it comes to wickets. He uses the television replays to do that.
    It should be the same in football...a 4th referee would be able to watch the replay at all angles and make the decision within a minute or so. This is crucial in deciding offside and goals. The current so-called 'goal-line technology' of a 4th referee standing at the goal-line to watch the ball cross the line is ridiculous!! they are only human and will make mistakes. Real technology is needed in order to save the game of football.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  16. Dimitri

    IT hurts you as a fan to see your team lose because of a mistake from the official/referee....I saw that match with real madrid vs barcelona...Real madrid were so wronged by the referee and dani alves showed no sportmanship faking his injury on the ground he should have gotten the red card....Pepe is the main defender just as puyol or pique is to barca and without him we were sure to lose....We need much sports use it if the umpire says the player is out,..... the player can call for a replay from the tech umpire.and most of the time the player is always right..if football imply that it would make the game more..,fun and fair.....

    May 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  17. morrc

    These changes may have "unintended consequences" even though well meant.
    I agree that goal-line judges or cameras in big games will help but that is really like 10% of the problem. Stopping the clock will prevent time-wasting, but will not prevent "faked injury" like Alves with the intent to get fouls called.
    Nor will "replay" challenges prevent fouls the ref doesn't see, or permit a team to "play-on" when a wrong foul has been called, or award a PK for an unseen hand ball etc. etc.

    As a referee - I know that almost every call or "no call" will bring a response and being able to make a correct, clear call is often the only thing that allows me to keep a game under control.
    In the heat of a game, I often have to ignore a "faked injury" or give a card (yellow or red?) or call a PK etc. within a time space of 0 to 3 seconds.
    The players may celebrate, or get angry, or yell at me or each other, but "dissent" within certain limits is common and though it may make the game harder for me, it is part of the game and as long as I can maintain some degree of control, it is accepted. - When "dissent" gets too hot, of course, cautions should be, and are, issued.

    If I have a 4th official to help that is good and necessary– the famous Zidane head-butt incident v. Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup Final is the best illustration one could have - but if I am wrong or if that official changes my call even though I was right and he is wrong - this can dramatically increase player "dissent" through the rest of the match.

    My main concern is that a "replay challenge" rule will INCREASE players appealing for fouls, PKs, yellow or red cards on opponents, and reminding the referee of his mistakes, which contrary to popular opinion does not make us better or more accurate. The game is always better when player concentrate on play, not on "managing" the referee.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply
  18. Ashwin

    If technology is being used in other sports like tennis and cricket, where players can challenge the referee's decision a fixed number of times, why can't soccer follow it?

    May 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  19. Brooke

    I hear both arguements here in Germany. Some say it should be implemented, especially when situations like this occur:

    A couple of years ago, Hamburg scored an offside goal against Dortmund in Germany. It was obvious, and the ref just was in the wrong spot for one second and called the goal.

    He apologized immediately after the game, because... he said as soon as he saw the instant video replay of the goal run in the stadium, seconds later, he saw that he was in the wrong and cost Dortmund the game. This was apology was widely published in Germany, an actual ref, admitting that immediate video replay showed him he called wrong.

    But I also hear fans here in Germany say that it should not be implemented, because yes this happens, but its another aspect of the game which helps fuel the passion and love for the game and their team. because well, for that reason... THATS UNFAIR!!!!! WE HAVE BEEN WRONGED. Thats a powerful feeling to bind people and feelings together...and they argue it helps strengthen the passion and love for the team. It does also happen that your team sometimes gets a benefit, sometimes screwed over. I dunno, this is what I hear some German football fans say.

    Maybe they feel this way because its not all about money here. The clubs retain a majority control in themselves, so there are no owners or big time monies involved in it in Germany, compared to the English league.

    I also agree with a previous commentator that it was correct for the Madrid player to be sent off the field. It does not matter whether or not he actually he him. He went into the action very dangerously and could have seriously hurt the other guy. That's all that's needed. Such calls happen every week.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  20. Brooke

    .."he actually HIT him." not he. sorry

    May 3, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  21. luis

    Football will remain as it is because its precisely these controversies by human faults or referee faults that spark discussion in homes, bars, restaurants, schools, streets and internet. Football has unpredictable variable thats outside the game or sport itself. They dont WANT to get things right by technology, they want human mistakes to happen and influence results. Its an all human game.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  22. Rob Aglar

    Technology could have avoided at least one argentinian championship. Kids in Argentina are told how to dive in football schools from an early age and they are the number one cheaters.
    Maradona could had never been such a star if technology had cracked down his dirty tricks.
    We definitely need technology to clean our loved sport.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  23. Sergio

    This all makes for great journalistic fodder, but the simple fact of the matter is football's governing bodies love the controversy, and for all their talk of fair play, all that really matters to them is the money, and controversy=media attention=money. Prove me wrong FIFA/UEFA!

    May 3, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  24. Hugo

    Pedro, you're spot on here, as usually. The problem is that it appears that there are indeed interests behind the decisions taken by Blatter and, perhaps foremost, by Platini. To me, that's the only plausible reason. We've been having this discussion for years now and the only persons who are against it revolve around Platini, while not presenting any valuable arguments to support their position (see Platini's interview to Reuters in 1999 where he presented the "in 10 years time we would not have referees", the "we would stop the game every 10 minutes" and the "football is a human game and the mistakes are human" arguments, demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge of how video replays have been implemented in other sports, not to mention the absurdity of some of those arguments). So, for me, the problem with soccer is not the sport itself, but with the people. it's the same as with democracy: the problem lies with the people in power and with the people who elect them, not with the regime itself.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  25. Dana

    Pedro Pinto is Portuguese. That should not be a problem. If he is a good professional, you can expect a balanced view. What a dissapointment !!!

    May 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  26. DanB

    The beautiful game is anything but beautiful when you watch it on TV and can see the cheating. Yes, it is cheating when you fake contact to hurt the other team. Why can’t FIA go back and review games based on a coaches request. If they find obvious cheating penalize the team. Award the other team the win and negate any goals after the infraction. There are plenty of sports that go back after the match, race etc and change the results when cheating is discovered.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  27. Dana

    Again, I encourage Pedro Pinto to try to be less partial. I know impartiality doesn't exist, but, if necessary, fake it, CNN loses credibility.
    Remember Goebels principle: If you repeat a lie enough times it becomes a truth. Do we want to follow that principle? I KNOW I DONT.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  28. Jonnny

    If you don't like the way football is played, the don't watch it! Simple as that.

    May 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  29. morrc

    @ Michael Anakwe

    A ball on the line is not a goal. It must be entirely across the line.
    Just as a ball on the side (touch) line is not out of play - it must be entirely outside the line.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  30. Simon

    I totally agree, why can't the referees use video replays to decide whether the decision was correct or needs to be changed?

    In American football the teams are allowed a number of challenges to challenge the decisions of the officials, but I don't think this would work in football because of the difference in frequency of play stops between the two sports.

    I have to admit, I am both a Real Madrid supporter and a Tottenham supporter which made this past week horrible for me. But this whole problem was also present in the World Cup last summer when Frank Lampard's shot hit the crossbar and clearly crossed the line but the goal didn't count.

    I believe that video technology can help the sport become more fair and attractive to fans as the mistakes made by referees can change games as it did in the Tottenham match. But the video technology has to be used by the fourth official, who can watch replays in the moments after the event and help the referee make his call.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  31. jeremy

    there's way too much money and 'illegal' money involved to include these new technology into the game...

    May 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  32. as

    Pepe was rightfully sent off. I agree he didn't touch Mascherano (nor the ball) but the intention to hurt was there. Pedro just received a yellow card tonight for a high tackle on some Madrid player. The Madrid player didn't fall, Pedro barely touched him but the intention to hurt or to tackle the player was there.
    Congratulations Madrid on not qualifying for the finals. It was a "boring" 2nd leg but Madrid didn't really have the will to continue. Kaka invisible, Adebayor too excited, Ronaldo complaining as always. Wrong tactics, Mourinho. Where was Benzema?

    May 3, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Reply


    May 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Reply


    May 3, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Reply
  35. someone

    I agree with you, but the red card for Pepe was not a mistake. Pepe tackled with a stretched leg on knee height. If he did hit Dani Alves, Dani Alves would break his leg for sure. The red card was not a mistake of the referee in my opinion. It's about the intention, not about the question if he is hit or isn't.

    May 3, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  36. Glenn

    If you want fair play, watch ping-pong. People follow football like they do soap operas. It's serves as a proxy for life. One from which they derive great pleasure. If the game were made too fair, the Germans would always win and the Italians would always lose. And what would be the fun in that?

    As for you Mr. Pinto, you should know better. Contact is not necessary for a foul. Learn the rules.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:01 am | Reply
  37. Azure Ziel

    The whole scoring scheme of football/soccer is broken. Let's just add a judging panel like iceskating to judge who played better.

    Who would want to run a marathon, and then have the winner decided by a 100m sprint? How many games end up draws? Teams run around and in the end the score is 0-0 or 1-1 - where's the differentiation of skills & ability?

    May 4, 2011 at 3:05 am | Reply
  38. Chris Grau

    No scoreboards at all is my suggestion. After each game everyone that has watched the game votes on the correct score and then at the end of the week the scores are announced. This is a little out there but hey, cheaper then installing cameras in thousands of stadiums around the world.

    May 4, 2011 at 3:42 am | Reply
  39. Alan tarkenton

    el clasico was ruined by the alves cheat.

    May 4, 2011 at 4:25 am | Reply
  40. Jan

    Regarding the red card from Pepe, in theguidelines from Fifa to their referee's it is clearly written that when a player attacks the ball with a streched leg, and because of this there is a injury possible from the other player that there is only one penalty, a red card. If Pepe hits the Barca player or not is not important. Read the guidelines and you will be surprised. Beside of that, in the games before this one he played very hard and was not punished.

    May 4, 2011 at 4:51 am | Reply
  41. pons

    I say that if the technology exists, then it must be used. The referee must make a call. But the side must request a review right after the call. Then the umpire committee rules. This does not take much time. max is3 min. It may be made up in time extension. What's so hard about that???

    May 4, 2011 at 5:39 am | Reply
  42. jm

    New technologies will never be introduced, at least not in the near future, because controversies is what makes people talk and entertain themselves all week until the next match.

    May 4, 2011 at 5:53 am | Reply
  43. juancito

    Out with Blatter. Without Blatter comes a change. Out with the old... he has been in the game for too long. Has always been the puppeteer of Joao Havelange and moves on running the show... Anyway. Bring technology where it matters otherwise the use of tech repeatedly will slow the game down. Linesmen should also play more of a role in decisions and the 4th official ought to do more than wave that digital board...

    May 4, 2011 at 5:53 am | Reply
  44. Glen Middleton

    Soccer needs to move with the times & my suggestions are:
    * Goal Line camera (stump view) for 'goal appeals'. Works in Cricket, tennis etc.
    * Deal with the 'divers', send them off & use the 'video ref' for penalty apeals. Dive once in the penalty box (red card), dive outside (yellow) & second yellow (red card)
    * Extra time with '1 man down' & remove the penalty shoot outs for major games! Modify the extra time & remove one player every 5 minutes until a goal is scored. It will make the players 'play to win' & to remove any doubt in who is off 'next'; players draw strawer(s) to see who is off next. Goalies are obviously 'last'.
    * Off-side – players tags. Use electronics to determine where the players are for major games.

    May 4, 2011 at 5:54 am | Reply
  45. carlos

    goal line technolody should noot be applied...its part of the game..human error...its going to be so boring without controversy its stupid...and NO, pepe wasnt sent off for nothing, it was clearly a red card....controversy is good...i dont want robotic matches that are decided by a stupid computer...all you people are whiners cause your chelsea is out, or your lame real madrid is out...face it, theyre no better than barcelona and man eat ur words, and take it like men...this crap is not needed to ruin the game

    May 4, 2011 at 6:02 am | Reply
  46. carlos

    goal line technology should not be added....its stupid...controversy and human error are part of the game and it is what maes a lot of games exciting...matches should not be decided by a stupid computer...get cracking on the referees..if u think theyre doing it wrong, punish them...but all you chelsea fans and real madrid losers who cant bear see Man U and Barcelona at the top once again, have to come here and cry about how u were robbed....the game does not need to be ruined with robotic ideas....

    May 4, 2011 at 6:04 am | Reply
  47. Jeremy

    If the leagues used instant replay to fine or suspend players for blatant dives then perhaps it would lessen the acting and increase the playing

    May 4, 2011 at 6:11 am | Reply
  48. Egor Rusu

    I agree 100% about what has to be done, but concerning Chelsea gool i think you should wach again the Replay.....

    May 4, 2011 at 6:54 am | Reply
  49. bestwin

    I agree with the introduction of such system as it will really help good teams like Tottenham to keep them in the run to grab a seat in the CL and not award Chelsea 2 ( non ) goals at this critical stage. Imagine the money Tottenham can get from entering CL. In the end, ManCity with the big bucks gets to secure that place. ManCity is already well funded and they can keep on buying players without thinking. However Tottenham have really fought their way up to the top and lose out in such a way. It's really unfair.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:06 am | Reply
  50. only justification

    is that this way it fits with a football governing body, and gives space to manipulate endings of the match, and it is related to bettings and big money.

    No other explaination could me made, of such a ignorance of technology, when it would make football a so much better sport.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:21 am | Reply
  51. areyoukidding

    Football is broken, and always has been because of it's flawed rules that encourage players to cheat by over-reacting. The unpredictable influence of the referee is embedded into the game, and is often what provides the most drama. Barc-Real was boring over-cautious football– the only excitement was from the players' highly advanced attempts to incite fights and get yellow, red & penalties awarded.

    People have been saying for years what needs to be done:
    6 sideline officials not 2, no offsides outside the penalty area, unlimited substitution, and referee discretion to award free kick instead of penalty in penalty box.

    These changes will allow Football to become the beautiful game it could and should be, not the ridiculous farce of millionaire cry-babies hamming it up every week, encouraged by the rules to do so, because it helps their teams win.

    May 4, 2011 at 7:33 am | Reply
  52. Michael Schrijver

    Even though i fully agree with the fact that we need some sort of a camera system on the goal line, and we have use the technologies to make the game more "Fair". After all, FIFA promotes Fair Play all over the world.

    But theres just one thing i'd like to clarify. In the first leg of the semi final, Real Madrid – Barcelona, Pepe deserved the red card.

    1) Real Madrid has a habbit of editing videos and photographs. They either photoshop a player out of the picture, or they delete frames out of movies.

    Thats what they did with Pepe too.

    2) Even if Pepe didnt hit the player, charging like that, can be fatal when it comes to fractures. Which can eventually be the reason for the hit player, not being able to return at the highest level or not being able to play ever again.

    I believe, that players who charge like that, with the chance of injuring players that badly, should be punished. And Pepe got what he deserved. Because he does it all the time.

    May 4, 2011 at 8:01 am | Reply
  53. Luffy

    My opinion is the only way FIFA will change is via a fan boycott of FIFA products. The thing is it has to be more of a symbolic fan statement then a financial hit, something symbolic and widely publicized.

    The people at the top aren't going to change we saw it when Qatar got the world cup over Australia and the USA and to a lesser extent when Russia got the world cup over the England. That as well as the latest video replay bugles. In politics we are seeing something similar happening across north Africa.. the people are making their statements and they are being heard, I think passionate football fans should be doing the same.

    It can all start with a facebook page.. I think Ill do one up.. care to Join?

    May 4, 2011 at 8:02 am | Reply
  54. be4real

    This article mentions only SOME of the referee's mistakes from last week's games, but there were a LOT more, and when you take into account ALL the bad calls against both sides, they even out and don't really determine the outcome... the refs are part o the theatre and becoming famous for it– we even know some of them by name... they should get agents and do product endorsements!

    May 4, 2011 at 8:09 am | Reply
  55. glen

    Agree totally about instant replay. It has been working in American Football for many years. Everyone likes it. Coaches get to make one challenge per half. No issue.

    Another change I would like to see, at least for championship games is that there can be no zero – zero draw. One – one, two – two OK. But, the idea that a game at a high level can end with no goal is an insult to the fans. I think going to sudden death is probably the best way to get a positive result.

    May 4, 2011 at 8:35 am | Reply
  56. docprof2

    Before investing in technology let's first have football players show respect to the referees. The way these players behave is beyond everything. They are role models earn millions and act like a bunch of uneducated ash.
    Though they all bear a respect logo on their shirts they do not act accordingly. Have FIFA do what the rugby union has done. There is respect towards the referee period. It works perfect.
    Problem is not refs its the players.

    May 4, 2011 at 8:35 am | Reply
  57. Kenshin Himura

    I agree with implementing a goal line technology – but what do you do if the referee decides it was not a goal, how do you go back to the same situation just post-goal had it not been given as a goal. This will/could in my opinion slow down the game significantly.

    Maybe the referee and linesman could have a constant real time update indicating (in their watch for example) whether the ball has crossed the goal line or not.

    I think implementing replay during foul decisions is a good idea (and I think it is already done in some cases anyway, eventhough not officially advertised). However, as in the case of the goal line technology, when no foul is given (and there was a foul) this could slow down the game (do you stop the game every time there is a doubt there might have been a foul? Some games would never end). Also, a foul is still a matter of opinion – what would be a foul in some leagues is not in others, etc. This should be standardised through out all leagues.

    Finally, I believe the major game changer would come (initially) from having players behave in the field and obey the referee as done in many other games – referees have no power (comparatively speaking) in football. Players need to be provided with formal education by Fifa rather than the clubs on how to behave in the field(i.e. better clubs could otherwise provide better education than worse clubs).

    May 4, 2011 at 9:28 am | Reply
  58. Brent Daglish

    Maybe picking players on skill not on just their acting ability would be a start.

    Based on what we see, they should send their talent scouts to Hollywood

    May 4, 2011 at 10:18 am | Reply
  59. Gambazinho

    That's the beauty of soccer... If you add tech and change the offside line, you will destroy the game; played by humans which, as we know, are not perfect.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
  60. Ronald

    Well, first of all, the charge with a stretched leg that Pepe made, could have costed Alves' his knee, for sure. So even if he didn't touch him, he was sent off correctly. Dangerous, it was.

    For the rest, we are talking about millions of dollars/euros here clubs are making, or NOT making, technology needs to be implemented, one step at the time.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
  61. vilhelm skarstedt

    it is time to get a close look to have a goallinecamera ore a refery
    too look a all the situationes when it is not cleer if th ball is in or not

    May 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  62. Rodrigo

    I would just like to add that everyone saying that this human errors just add the fun to the game are just stupid.

    No one likes to see their team being wronged. Sure it may become part of the soccer folklore years later (like the hand of God by Maradona) but this is NOT A REASON TO KEEP SOCCER AWAY FROM TECHNOLOGY.

    You think the errors are the beauty of soccer? Not the goals, dribbling, precise passing?

    May 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  63. carlos

    ok, its one thing to say we need technology, but a lot of you seriously belive that we should have repays that change a decision made by a referee? ...are you serious? i cannot belive soccer fans talk like this...that is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard...changing the outcome of a game due to a replay? where the hell are we going? i just want to rage....controversy its part of the game...its so boring otherwise...

    May 4, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  64. haydar

    I respect all the comments but please you should respect what you are just about to read;
    "please , please do talk about baseball, football, hockey but leave soccer alone" . you have no idea about the human effect on this game, not to mention the psychological effects of ref. errors on the game's popularity amongst the fans who understand the game.

    May 4, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  65. Jorge Daniels

    I am a liberal in many ways but not about this one, at least not with the technology these days. I do not support its use when referees as human beings make mistakes. Human factor shall not leave football because it will take other things I like with it.
    Maybe more referees could work for me as un tennis or basketball but please not technology at least not the one we have now.
    If technology appears on the pitch it needs to be fast or immediate,

    May 4, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  66. pinoyfrance

    ...for obvious reasons; to deny cheating, game fixing, and everything about lots of money..that is why they will never allow this very beautiful sport to be fair... let alone the slogan.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  67. Ekow Bansah

    I agree with you 100% the issue is
    1. the game will no longer be interesting when such technologies are put in place besides it is entertainment we sometimes want when we watch certain football matches.
    2. The fourth official should be very alert henceforth, He should be the decider in certain situations the all the officials on the pitch would be in no position to judge. since he has a screen at his disposal he should be able to give very critical judgments on certain issues.

    May 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  68. c.menns

    Tell you what ? just change the officials of FIFA every 4 years or the presidency and the assistant every 2 years and you will definately see some changes in the game .

    May 8, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  69. moski

    why talk about bribery in fifa and show pictures of nigeria president.its embaressing,please try and edit ur video before you show the world ok cnn.

    June 23, 2011 at 12:58 am | Reply

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