No subject seems to create more controversy and debate in soccer as the possibility of the use of video replays. Yet rarely do we get much more further than a “yes we should” on one side and “no we shouldn’t” on the other.
So, in the interest of furthering the argument beyond the banal, I thought we would use the often used tool of the “thought experiment” to establish where we each stand on the subject and how we would each interpret it in very specific circumstances.
Below then are four hypothetical incidents that the use of video review would influence (try not to be swayed by the teams or the players involved when reaching your decision).
In a Liverpool versus Tottenham game a Luka Modric free-kick is powered toward the net by a Ledley King header but the goal line is crowded and the ball is somehow cleared. At the next break in play Harry Redknapp calls for a video review of the incident which reveals that the ball did not cross the line but only because Luis Suarez cleared it with his hand.
Should the goal be given and Suarez red carded or, because the technology is only to be used to decide whether the ball crossed the line, should no goal be awarded?
El Clasico is reaching the final minute with the scores level. Cristiano Ronaldo pounces on a Javier Mascherano mistake and is suddenly presented with a clear run on goal. He rounds the keeper and, from a tight angle, hits the ball toward the net. A desperate Mascherano tries to prevent the goal with a last-ditch clearance but the assistant referee immediately signals that the ball has crossed the line.
An overjoyed Ronaldo rushes to the Madrid fans and, in his excitement, removes his shirt and throws it into the melee. The referee issues Ronaldo with his second yellow card of the game and he is sent off. On video review it is concluded that Mascherano successfully cleared the ball and the goal does not stand.
But should Ronaldo’s second yellow?
In an LA Galaxy versus Red Bulls MLS Cup Final with the scores level in the final minute a Thierry Henry free kick strikes the underside of the bar and bounces out. David Beckham immediately hits a long ball to a free Robbie Keane who, while attempting to take the ball around Red Bulls keeper Ryan Meara, is brought down in the penalty area. The referee points to the spot and issues a red card to Meara. Before the kick is taken video review reveals that the Henry free kick did indeed cross the line and a goal is awarded to New York
Do the penalty or the red card (or both) still stand?
In the final minute of extra time in an Old Firm Scottish Cup semi-final Celtic’s Gergios Samaras heads a Kris Commons corner toward the net but he ball is headed clear from the line. Video review reveals that the ball crossed the line but also that it curled behind the goal line directly from the corner.
Should the goal be given and the game go to penalties or should a simple goal kick to Rangers be awarded?
Answers below please and it will be interesting to hear your thoughts.
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