Events in today’s World Cup games have only strengthened my belief that technology should be used to review decisions in football. Yesterday, I suggested that two appeals should be allowed per half and only yellow and red cards should be subject to appeal. I was wrong. All decisions should be subject to video appeal, but only two appeals per half should be allowed. Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal and the failure to signal Tevez offside both had a massive impact on the Germany v England and Argentina v Mexico games. Mexico found themselves in a ridiculous situation, as a replay on the big screen at the stadium proved that the referee was wrong, but he refused to change his mind about allowing the goal, despite everyone in the stadium (and at home) knowing that the decision was the wrong one.
FIFA’s Laws of the Game, 2010/11 read: ‘The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final. The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.’
While the referee in the Argentina v Mexico game could have changed his mind following the replay on the big screen, he perhaps felt pressured by FIFA’s refusal to allow video review of decisions. In the Germany v England game, there was no big screen replaying events (as far as I know). The referee was therefore unaware that his decision was the wrong one, so FIFA’s Laws of the Game would not have helped. FIFA needs to allow video review of such decisions now, or - as we saw in the Argentina v Mexico match - tempers can become easily frayed. As I have said before, allowing the captain to call for two video reviews per half would not disrupt the game and would allow injustices to be righted. Again, comments are welcome on this!