The controversies about refereeing decisions in South Africa continue.

Three of the most controversial were the American goal which was disallowed against Slovenia, the English ball over the line goal against Germany and the first Argentina  goal against Mexico.

Three wrong decisions but three very different situations in my opinion.

Let’s look at the American goal first.

After a great second half fight back, victory was denied to the USA after Mali referee Koman Coulibaly disallowed a perfectly good goal by Maurice Edu.

In my opinion this was not a case of needing a video replay to see the incident again. This was a case of a referee out of his depth who did not have the courage to make the decision which would have decided the match.

The disallowed goal from England’s Frank Lampard could have been avoided by goal line technology. As I mentioned yesterday, there are two systems to the fore at present – one is Hawkeye, based on the tennis system and the other is the adidas/Cairos system based on a chip in the ball.

Both claim to be able to give the referee a direct signal when the ball crosses the goal line within one second.

If these claims are correct I believe the experiments should be encouraged to continue and when suitable, well tested systems are developed they should be introduced, in the same way we now have radio communication between the referee team.

What is a key consideration, however, is that the decision is transmitted directly to the referee, not passed on by a video referee in the stand. 

Which brings me to the first Argentinian goal against Mexico.

This goal was offside and gave the lead to Argentina after a very positive first quarter of an hour by Mexico. It was a mistake by the Italian assistant which should not have happened.

What made the situation worse was that the incident was replayed on the stadium television screens and the Mexican players were able to point out to the referee and the assistant that he had made a mistake.

I am sure FIFA will make sure this does not happen again.

I do not believe we should use video technology in such situations.

I support the use of goal line technology which sends a direct signal to the referee but I do not support action replays which are judged by a video referee in the stand for a number of reasons.

Who decides what is a controversial decision?

If it is anyone other than the referee the fundamental that the referee’s decision is final immediately changes.

The referee has given his opinion with his first decision. Who tells him he might be wrong?

Who judges the video?

An experienced referee? Maybe. Then a non-field person is taking charge of a field decision. This also against the principles of football match control.

What happens when the replay is being reviewed? Does play stop or does it continue?

If play stops, where will the match be restarted from?

The Laws of the game will have to be completely rewritten to include this situation.

I have seen rugby video replays where the video referee took up to two minutes to make a decision – and it was wrong. This would not be acceptable in the dynamic sport that is football.

What should be reviewed? Offside decisions, fouls, red cards, penalty kicks? Sometimes a goal can result from a wrongly awarded throw in. Do we have video replays for throws in?

Do we then have to review every possible controversy in a match?

I could go on and on.

I fully support FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, in his stand against video evidence. No matter what the media and others in the game say, just because something is popular does not make it correct or good for football in the long term.

He said recently “If play were to be stopped to take a decision, it would break up the rhythm of the game and possibly deny a team the opportunity to score a goal. It would also not make sense to stop play every two minutes to review a decision, as this would go against the natural dynamism of the game.”

Football is the world’s most popular game because it is a simple game where opinions are the lifeblood of the sport – either made by a referee or argued by two supporters in a pub after the match.

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