West Brom head coach Roy Hodgson believes retrospective punishment of players via video evidence is heaping pressure on and eroding the authority of referees following the three-match ban handed to Gabriel Tamas.
Tamas was charged over a clash with violent conduct after he appeared to strike Norwich forward James Vaughan during the Baggies' win at Norwich last Sunday. The incident was not seen by the referee Mark Halsey but adjudicated upon by the Football Association after the event.
"It's hard enough to be a referee anyway with all of the things that go on in the game of football and all of the decisions that you have to make in a split second, if afterwards, people are going to confront you with loads of things on video that happened in the game that you may or may not have seen. It's trial by video evidence isn't it?" Hodgson said
"It just opens up the door for an endless stream really. There's no doubt it's going to make the refereeing job harder and harder, and it's going to make the job of the assessors more and more powerful.
"It will raise to some extent questions, sometimes, about delegates and assessors, such as are they local people seeing things with local eyes, or are they as neutral as we hope the referees will be?"
In this instance, Hodgson believes Halsey performed his on-field duties well, and it would be unfair to accuse him of missing an incident that happened off the ball and therefore outside his field of vision.
He said: "I thought it was very harsh that his performance is being questioned as a result of this particular incident because there is no way that if he is doing his job and following the ball, that he will have actually seen, as Gabby turned, that he catches Vaughan with his elbow, because the ball is actually way past and being dealt with in an aerial duel.
"The only way he can possibly see it is if you say to him afterwards 'look, here's some evidence taken by five or six cameras from five or six different angles'.
"Tell me what you see now, and would you make a decision?'
"I've got a lot of sympathy for the referee, Mark Halsey, and a bit less sympathy for Gabby because it was a clumsy turn and it did cause damage to the other player."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.