Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir reopened a raging debate between fans and pundits alike as to whether officials are up to the job.
Cakir caused outrage after showing Manchester United wide man Nani a controversial red card for a high boot against Real Madrid full back Alvaro Arbeloa during their Champions League tie.
Whether his decision was correct or not is not the issue at hand, however the real debate should be if the fate of a multi-million pound match should rest on the shoulders of one man and his two linesmen.
Surely the amount of money put into football nowadays should ensure that these decisions should be put into safer hands?
As we enter a new dawn of ‘sugar daddies’ controlling football, it is widely acknowledged that not only is football a source of entertainment, it is a global, thriving business. With many club’s financial welfare resting on progress in European competition such as the UEFA Champions League, it is almost barbaric that these huge matches are susceptible to human error.
The solution is an overhaul of the out-dated refereeing system, and replacing them completely with panels of officials and video replays and goal line technology.
The first issue to tackle is fouls and cards. To follow the example of rugby, where tries are reviewed on video footage, the same could be applied to football. The decisions would be quick and would drastically improve the beautiful game and the controversy surrounding it.
Video reviews could also be used for diving and off the ball incidents; issues that have become wildly evident in recent years. The goal line technology is already in use and various offside systems being trialled could soon come into effect.
The end product would be much closer to perfection than the system currently in use with referees and linesmen.
The argument against this mass overhaul by many traditional football fans is that the game loses its enthralling essence with no controversy.
I for one, disagree, if anything it makes football a whole lot more enjoyable. Fans no longer need to worry about human error knocking them out of a cup, or costing them a league title, and such the whole focus is shifted more towards football than incidents surrounding it. As for technology taking over, isn’t it inevitable? New technology is cropping up everywhere and is only a matter of time before it finds its way into football, goal line technology the prime example.
This whole point, of course, lies in the hands of the governing body of football FIFA. Whether Sepp Blatter and co are too stubborn to accept the change remains to be seen. But certainly, in this new age of billionaire clubs, it is the only way forward for ‘The Beautiful Game.’
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