Are extra officials a waste of time?
UEFA's decision to introduce two new officials has done nothing to stop poor decision-making
In 2009, UEFA decided to try an experiment in the Europa League putting two extra officials behind each goal in an attempt to stop officiating errors.
It was later introduced to the Champions League and since then there’s been minimal evidence that this decision has been a success.
Looking to Borussia Dortmund’s 3-2 second leg win over Malaga in the Champions League quarter final; there were two goals that were clearly offside yet were awarded.
Fair enough, it could be argued that this is the linesman’s job but what’s the point in having extra officials behind each goal if they can’t have a say. They are only a couple of yards away and closer to the incident than both the referee and linesmen.
Since the introduction, there have been plenty of incidents that the extra officials have missed. Just look to the Ukraine v England game in last year’s European Championships when John Terry was adjudged to have cleared the ball from an Andriy Yarmolenko strike yet replays show it clearly crosses the line – replays also show the officials positioning which was optimum.
After the game, it led to FIFA President Sepp Blatter stating: “After last night, goal-line technology is no longer an alternative but a necessity."
This is clearly another indication to deem the extra officials as a failure.
Recently, Inter Milan legend Javier Zanetti has slammed the use of extra officials after Inter were denied a penalty in the 2-1 loss to Juventus last month. Speaking on the clubs website Zanetti fumed: "There were things that we saw differently but he decided otherwise. It looked like a clear penalty on Cassano in the second half. The goal-line ref was put there to help out in situations like this. If he doesn't do that then there's not much point.”
So for the officials to miss these incidents in matches of such importance has to swing the decision towards failure. How many incidents have there been when the official behind the goal has actually persuaded the referee into making the decision? Not many.
It’s a relief that FIFA have decided to implement goal line technology for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil – recently declaring that German company GoalControl's technology would be used. At least this is a start and maybe other ideas could also eventually be used in an effort to cut out poor officiating.
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