Platini continues push for goalmouth officials

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Michel Platini has been UEFA President since 2006

Michel Platini has been UEFA President since 2006

Instead of the use of video evidence, Michel Platini believes that adding two more officials – one behind each goalmouth – is the next step to take in making football a fairer sport.

The UEFA President, who has always been publicly against the use of video replays to aid referee’s decisions, expects trials of the controversial new system to be completed in 2011 so that if approved, it could be in place by the European Championships in 2012.

The system, which has already been trialled at under-19 level, involves the use of two extra officials – one by each goal – to help referee’s with decisions such as penalty and handballs, as well as making it easier to determine whether the ball has crossed the goal line or not.

“I am still against a video referee,” said Platini after a meeting of the International FA Board last week. “If you have an additional referee, he can see if the ball is in the goal – and also handballs. You don’t need another system. I am sure it will come into football. It is logical and would improve the morality.”

Following the IFAB’s meeting last week, Platini’s idea looks set to be trialled in a major professional league next season. The Italian Serie B or the English Championship are both potential candidates to test the proposal.

“The decision will be made in 2011 so if it is agreed then it will be used in Euro 2012,” the Frenchman added.

The news will undoubtedly cause controversy amongst football fans. Over the last few years we have seen the successful adoption of ‘Hawk-eye’ technology into Tennis. Cricket and Rugby have been using video replays for years, so it begs the question ‘why isn’t football doing using something similar?’

To many it will seem strange that in this day and age, a system involving extra manpower rather than a more scientific approach is the system that looks set to be approved.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has always been an eager advocate of video replays: “Now, every game, every decision of the referee is analysed on television and the only one in the whole game who has no access to the video, and the right picture, is the referee. I don’t find it right.”

There will of course be those, like Platini, who are against video replays in the modern game. The use of video is not traditional, and especially in England the traditions of the beautiful game are valued highly – referee’s mistakes have always been part of football.

And it has also been argued that the use of video replays would disrupt the flow of the game, as time for ‘video officials’ to assess footage would delay play considerably.

With the news of Platini’s idea looking set to become reality over the next few years, the use of video replays in football appears to be further away than ever before.

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