Controversial debut for video replay initative
I must be frank and state that the use of video replays to assist the match official during a game didn't fill me with enthusiasm. The only exception to this case would be the use of goal line technology where a chip in the match-ball could confirm if the ball had crossed the goal line or not. Irrespective of this personal view on technology in the game, it's something that is here and was used in yesterday's club World Club Cup semi final when Hungarian referee Kassai awarded a penalty for Kashima Antlers after consulting a replay. Despite all my previous scruples I have to admit I liked the way it was administered. It was clean, quick and indeed proved that there was an infringement that was difficult to catch at the time. It may provoke defenders to apply more caution when defending dead ball situations. But...
Offside or not
The trip on the Kashima player came as Daigo Nishi was in an off-side position when the free-kick was taken. This was not picked up by the linesman or by the camera. Maybe due to the need to make a quick decision this incident wasn't picked up or perhaps as former referee Díaz Vega claims, there is no off-side until the ball is touched. This maybe one interpretation of the rule but not one that is implemented globally. Recently in a Champions League game between FC Rostov and Bayern, Müller was penalised for being offside without actually touching the ball. In yesterday's case the player who was fouled was in an offside position when the free-kick was taken and not interfering with play.
So, the first use of video replays during a game wasn't without it's controversy and whats-more the decision favoured the home side. Part of me feels that we are interfering too much in that game that has functioned well for decades but if we do need to amend certain areas, let's do it well. A referee or even his assistant making a mistake can be put down to the need for a quick resolution but if there are mistakes after the use of external technology then the matter can become just a little suspicious.
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