UEFA Might Add a Ref to Catch the Cheats
As a referee, I’ve never really been very fond of the ‘dual system’ of refereeing. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s when two referees – with essentially equal authority – roam the pitch trying to ensure fair play. It’s most commonly used in amateur and high school ball in situations when there just aren’t enough referees to cover all the matches. Not only do the refs need to keep an eye on the action, but they must also determine whether or not the ball is in or out of play AND also watch for offside infractions.
It’s a difficult task to be sure and much less effective than the traditional three-man system – a center official and two assistants.
But now imagine what UEFA is considering – a FOUR-man system. It would be sort of like the traditional two-man arrangement except in this situation the assistants would be watching for offside and in/out-of-play, leaving the two men in the middle to focus exclusively on the action.
UEFA purports that its rationale for making such a change would be to severly curtail the prevalence of theatrics (i.e. diving and other forms of simulation) by the players. And while this might be the upside to such a change, there is also a down side.
Having worked hundreds of matches using the dual-system of refereeing, I can tell you that things don’t necessarily run more smoothly just because there are another pair of eyes watching. In fact, it’s inevitable that there will be controversy related to the fact that the referees don’t always see things the same way. At least with one center official you can achieve a level of consistency that is almost impossible to replicate when you throw another ref into the mix.
It’s important to recognize that in a three-man crew the center official already has two pairs of eyes keeping track of things that might not be in his immediate purview. I’m talking about his assistants here. Just like the man in the middle, they have the authority to signal for a foul or any other infraction by raising their flag (and giving it a quick wiggle) and pointing in the direction the kick is to be taken.
To me, three pairs of eyes is enough. Keep it simple. Keep it pure. And if we’re so concerned with the cheats in the game, levy severe penalties upon them (lengthy bans and/or fines) after using video evidence to determine their crime. Hefty punitive measures will do well to ensure a sense of fair play in the game that we love.
Until next time…
I agree that video evidence should be used for the cheats. However, I also submit that it should be used in the game for offside and handball situations as these are objective areas that officials screw up ALL THE TIME.
As a fan, I get so frustrated when bad calls that affect the outcome of the game are made, but particularly with “hands” and “offsides”.
Just today, Barca’s Motto handled the ball in the 18 yard box during the Benfica v. Barca game and there was no call. My suggestion is that each coach should be given 1 opportunity to call in video evidence during a game but only for offside and handball offences.
With only 1 opportunity, no coach will spend it lightly and we’ll at least give teams the opportunity to correct blatant on-field mistakes.
Posted from United States
What happens if the two referees can’t agree on something??
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