Frank Lampard Disallowed GoalYou may have noticed that rugby union’s version of the World Cup is in town. You may also have noticed that the England seem determined to match their football counterparts in frustrating the nation with the ability to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

At Quickplay Sport we’ve been watching the TMO (Television Match Official) decisions with great interest. In England’s first game Fiji’s Nikola Matawalu scored a try which for all the world (and to every naked eye at Twickenham) looked fine. But for the TMO’s intervention and subsequent denial Fiji would have had England on the ropes.

It was a pivotal moment in the game which proved the value of video technology. It seems astounding that all the big team sports: rugby league (so often the innovators, they were the first to use video refs), rugby union and cricket all use video technology to help out the officials.

We believe that, that is the important thing – to aid the officials and give them every opportunity to police the game fairly. Goal-line technology is already with us, though strangely it is absent from the Champions League as Manchester City fans learnt last week.

Former referee Graham Poll writing in the Daily Mail went so far as to say that “Michel Platini’s stubbornness nearly cost Manchester City.” But UEFA have shown no interest yet in goal-line or other technology to help referees.

Platini’s claim that the Champions League can’t afford the technology is clearly ludicrous. But what is the Premier League’s excuse, especially on the back of Peter Scudamore’s unfettered joy at the last TV deal?

It can’t be on the grounds of cost, rugby league’s Super League has a hundredth of the budget of the Premier League, yet video technology is a key part of the game which league fans are well used to.

Every Premier League and Championship game has multiple camera angles so a system like that used in rugby league could easily be adopted for English top flight football. If the referee is unsure of anything he can check with the man upstairs.

For tries he awards what he sees and if he calls for the video ref, there has to be significant evidence for the on-field decision to be reversed. Imagine that for penalty decisions? It doesn’t take long to make a decision and the right one would be made in almost every instance.

The wait for the decision and the fact that that the officials are ‘mic-ed up’ adds to the drama. There is still a small margin for error, but that level of scrutiny on crucial decisions would surely be welcome by the referees themselves, by the players, by the managers and by us, the fans.

Another former ref, Keith Hackett writing for the You Are The Ref website said that Manchester United’s Luke Shaw’s recent Gareth McAuley Mistaken Red Cardinjury in Eindhoven following a ‘horror tackle’ by Hector Moreno, showed just how necessary the use of technology has become.

The incident he said was “a graphic case for video referees”. While referee’s chief Mike Riley was also very clearly in favour of video technology on Radio 5 back in March. Reviewing an incident where Neil Swarbrick sent off Gareth McAuley instead of Craig Dawson of West Brom he said "We need to see what technology we can use to help get referees' decisions more accurate, football as a whole has to look at it.” “All it takes is a split-second lapse in concentration.

Neil had four or five elements to judge in half a second and it is that type of situation that would lend itself to technology." It’s not as if the wrong player getting sent off is even a rare occurrence.

So referees are in favour of it, it works, we can afford it and it is tried and tested. Why is video technology at least not being trialled in English football?

What do you think?

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