Parklife: Grassroots football column

The ref will always be at the centre of controversy regardless of technologyThe ref will always be at the centre of controversy regardless of technology
The ref will always be at the centre of controversy regardless of technology
I have previously offered the view that one of the joys of football is that the same laws apply whether the game is '¨the World Cup final or an Under -6s match

It’s the one constant across the board.

FIFA have now taken a decision that threatens the status quo. IFAB – the International Football Association Board – have set in motion moves that will trial the use of video technology in matches, with a view to ensuring that “game-changing decisions” are correct. And that is understandable.

Or is it? What is the driving force behind this? Is it really to ensure that decisions are correct? Or is it a media-led campaign, the same media that will, presumably, provide the pictures to the referee in the stand to take a look at? We are at the top of a very slippery slope.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Grassroots football is often lucky to have a single official, never mind three, four or five.

Local leagues in Lancashire seem to be reasonably well covered – it is some time since I have watched a game without an official referee on my travels.

The fact is that in this country, 99.9% of football is NOT at the top level, so why should the upper echelons be afforded the luxury of replays and amended decisions?

Will such a situation really stop the ill-informed criticism of decisions that we hear week in, week out, from former players on radio and TV?

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Anyone can change a decision when the incident has been viewed in slow-motion, from eight different camera angles, with the action paused. And of course there will be the resulting delay to the game.

Maybe those earning tens of thousands of pounds a week think they should have this right to have things reviewed.

My prediction is that when a decision is reviewed, if the original decision stands, then players will STILL argue with the referee, and commentators will STILL highlight what they see as an error.

And when a decision is overturned, the other team will complain, and commentators will continue to stoke the controversy.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thankfully, on the local park however it won’t make a scrap of difference.

Threatening the status quo? Let’s hope that things don’t go “down, down, deeper and down.”

l Weather-wise, it hasn’t taken long for things to change.

Three weeks ago games were being called off due to waterlogged pitches. On Sunday, at a busy Lancashire venue, the ball was ballooning all over the place due to hard, rutted pitches.

Air-shots galore were seen, balls spinning at bizarre angles, like the bowling of a googly on a dry, turning wicket, rather than a football on a soft pitch. I guess we are never happy.

Related topics: