Consistency in Football... Yeah right
Each year, we hear the same thing over and over again from the likes of the governing bodies of football and pundits up and down the country. “There has to be consistency”, it seems nobody ever listens to the cries of despair from the onlookers.
Incidents such as handballs, penalty decisions, red cards… One week you can see them given then the next week an almost identical decision is waved play on or the player is booked for diving etc…
A prime example of this can be seen in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory at Anfield last week. Antonio Valencia seemed to go down under minimal contact from a challenge made by Glen Johnson. The referee gave a penalty. Saturday saw Liverpool win 5-2 at Carrow Road against Norwich, Luis Suarez seemed to be elbowed in the shoulder and went down. No penalty given.
Many say the penalty was not given due to the reputation of Luis Suarez as a diver and a cheat. How does the reputation of a footballer have an effect on what the referee thinks is a penalty and what he waves away? There are many examples of the same situation in different leagues across the world but we’re talking about the apparent “best league in the world”, surely the referees cannot be influenced by a player’s personality.
We need consistency in football, there is no question about that. The question is, how do we get consistency? There is a simple answer to this question, we cannot.
Where do we go from here then? What can the referees do to ensure they get the correct decision every time without being influenced by the players involved, the reaction of the players and the reaction of the supporters?
Well, the answer is simple. Employ a video referee, follow in the footsteps of Rugby and take up their idea. But if we look at it realistically, this cannot be enforced in the lower leagues across the country. Also, there is simply not enough referees across the country to send a match referee, two assistant referees, a fourth official and a video referee to each match.
Obviously the idea of technology cannot be overlooked, although it always seems to be brushed off by the governing bodies. So for the time being it looks like the players and supporters will just have to deal with many incorrect decisions.
How long can this go on for before football just becomes simply unplayable with the amount of incorrect decisions across the world?
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