The clamour for video technology ebbs and flows dependant on the latest flagrant injustice, hardship or missed demeanour by match officials.
I don’t necessarily believe that getting every decision right is in the interest of the followers of the game, (although having Talksport’s output severely restricted is a very tempting counter argument indeed), because where would the myopic 606 callers, keyboard warriors and club forum ranter’s vent their tribal spleens.
What would make the whole process of analysis more bearable is the understanding of why or how the decision, rightly or wrongly, was reached.
Anyone who has watched the BBC’s magnificent series Earthflight – especially those fortunate to have had the full HD experience – cannot have failed to notice the clarity, majesty and awe inspiring images supplied by strapping a camera onto the back of one of our feathered friends.
Video technology that we can all see working with stunning effect.
If I was a match official in the current climate I would be hammering down the doors of my local satellite broadcaster to be afforded the same luxury as the Brent Goose and bunch of migrating storks.
It doesn’t matter how many camera angles are shown in the after match discussion no-gets to see what the ref has seen, from the angle that he’s seen it at and at the speed it happened.
And I for one am fed up with pundits trotting out the same old line of, “Of course the ref doesn’t have the luxury of multiple views and frame by frame analysis that we can offer you” and then proceed to castigate them because the pundit has these multiple angles, speeds and playback opportunities and has to make use of them or the whole budget that provides them is blown.
The view into a crowded penalty box must be an absolute nightmare, with probably 16 grown men doing everything they can think of both inside and outside the laws of the game to achieve their goal (pun intended) so a camera caught be mounted facing behind him, literally giving the ref eyes in the back of his head.
A crafty kick, dive or racial pinch is impossible to see if you’ve just glanced at your assistant, who’s buzzed you on the flag based intercom. Likewise if a player runs through your field of vision, (and somebody like Christopher Samba will block out the light for up to 4 seconds at a time), just as that incident, occurs you cannot have seen it and therefore cannot give the appropriate decision.
If we can see what the ref and lino’s can see then at least we can empathise with their position.
And why stop at that?
My absolute favourite video technology is cricket’s brilliant ‘Hot Spot’ –
The ref, who would have stopped play anyway, can refer to a ‘Hot Spot’ official and Joey Barton is saved the indignation of an early bath and having the piss taken out of him at the darts, for something he didn’t do. Gervinho would have benefited from the same technology, in the same way, at the hands of the more recently seen victim of injustice.
The technology currently exists so that more analysis can go a step even further.
Having established stud to leg contact through Hot Spot (or a broken shin pad), X-ray technology can then be applied to determine the seriousness of the offence and brain mapping photography can show whether the perpetrator went in studs up with the intent of hurting Nani (initial research shows there will always be traces of this), or if a genuine attempt to win the ball was uppermost in the mind.
Not entirely practical but it would liven up Goals on Sunday no-end.
So where we do want technology to start, or for that matter stop?
I’m not a massive fan of it, mainly due to the fact that football is essentially a very simple game and that is why untold billions around the world play, watch and, most importantly, enjoy it.
If your argument for it is that “so much money now rests on the crucial outcomes” you have forgotten what drew you to the beautiful game in the first place.
It isn’t always fair, you don’t always get what you deserve but if you can have fun doing it then it can’t be all bad.