Offside decisions often prove costly in the Premier League..

Video technology needed to help match officials make correct offside decisions

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As another Premier League season reaches its latter stages, there have once again been plenty of contentious decisions made by match officials to frustrate and confuse managers, players, fans and pundits alike.

Goals given despite players being in offside positions, shouts for blatant handballs dismissed and harsh penalty decisions made have all damaged teams in the Premier League at various points this campaign and will continue to plague the sport until further action is taken to further assist match officials.

The introduction of goal-line technology has proved a resounding success since its arrival two seasons ago, giving referees an accurate reading of whether a goal should or shouldn't be given without disrupting the run of play.


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So, given how this form of technology has triumphed, shouldn't other technological advancements also be considered?

When discussions regarding video replays in football first began some 20 years ago, the vast majority of people appreciated its concept but thought it would bring too many stoppages.

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Since then, other sports with significantly less financial investment, such as cricket and rugby, have become pioneers in the use of cameras and arguably added excitement by broadcasting pending decisions on the big screens around stadiums.

As a result, the pendulum has swung in favour of new technology, with a vast array of those working in football welcoming the idea of such visual aid.

There's no need to introduce every possible form of video replay, of course, but it's time to tackle one of football's biggest controversies - and it's not handball.

Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League

With the ever-increasing speed of the Premier League and the intelligent movement players make in attacking positions, the offside rule is a nightmare to contend with for assistant referees.

How many times have we looked at just one replay and known straight away that the incorrect decision was made? Quite a few. Whilst officials get the majority of calls right, it's the ones they get wrong that often prove most costly, defeating the point of a fair game.

The FA are reportedly interested in testing video replays to help match officials and could implement them in next season's FA Cup, which would certainly be a step in the right direction.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League

And it seems a host of big names in football want the very same, with Arsenal duo Arsene Wenger and Aaron Ramsey demanding change in offside-related technology last year, after the latter's goal against Liverpool in late August was incorrectly ruled out.

If a positive outcome resulted from the tests, England could act as a beacon for world football, especially so if such proposals transpired into the Premier League.

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