Oliver boosts IFAB techno vote


High times, strange decisions: Oliver horror show backs IFAB techno vote.

Snapshot: Wk 29.

Tuesday, March 9.

Wow. I mean has the world stopped spinning? Is the end nigh?

Football’s  rules-makers have only gone and given the green light for testing the use of video technology to assist referees – and taken a giant leap towards the 21st century.  

Out goes Sepp Blabber, out goes Michel Pratini and within a few months the game’s law lords – that’s IFAB, the International Football Association Body – meet in Cardiff and say ‘yes’ to proposals from the English FA, the Dutch FA, the German FA and the Brazilian FA to see how and what might work when it comes to TV refereeing and using video technology.

Of course, we cannot be sure this would not have been the outcome of the IFAB technology vote at its Annual General Meeting last weekend were Blabber and Co still running their stinking, sinking ship.

But that’s a bit like saying Michael Oliver might have spared Eric Dier a red card in the north London derby even with a TV Ref up in the stands helping him to officiate.

What a cracking example Oliver has provided as to why the men in black, yellow, green or beige so need someone to help them make the right decisions – that’s the blindingly obvious decisions staring everyone else in the face – and maintain consistency throughout the 90 minutes.

Nobody other than the individual himself can say what happened on Saturday at White Hart Lane. We can try and guess.

Did Oliver’s brain and mind suffer a first early strike of dementia when he declined to follow his own lead – he had correctly dismissed Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin for two bookable offences earlier in the game – and deliver the same punishment to Dier after he committed two blatant fouls?

Is he really that thick and genuinely not understand that the first rule of being a decent referee is to treat each team the same, deal each the same hand?

You could come up with 101 reasons and all will seem as inconceivable as the next. What Oliver, who is (or was) definitely one of the better young referees in the Premier League, did was utterly ridiculous. Even now the guy will be having sleepless nights.

The fact is nobody wants to be even thinking about such pathetic matters. So here’s the solution. A TV ref in the ear of the on-field ref. That would resolve this problem. Forever.  No need for two years of experimentation either. Get it in, IFAB, immediately.

Then we can get on with the more serious issues, such as debating the great penalty debate – what is a penalty and what is not a penalty? Is Benteke a diver or does being kneed in the foot – as he was at Palace  – give him license to go crashing to the floor inside the box?

Once we define this sort of penalty confusion more clearly, and what is permitted both from the defender and attacker, we can seriously consider allowing penalties to go under the technology spotlight.

That will be fun and give everyone another lifetime arguing the toss, chewing the fat and banging on about the greatest game of all.

No way will the debate end with the introduction of video referees into football. It will go into total overdrive. 

And give Oliver a decent night’s kip to boot. Everyone’s a winner. HP

The Hypothetical Premier League Wk 29 table, results, reports


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