Video Replay Will Result in Long Stoppages in Play
In Olympiakos’ 2-1 win over Arsenal, the final whistle was blown at 92’14″. And after all the passes had been counted, the knockdowns, headers, shots, and blocks it turns out that the ball was in play for only 56’40″. Olympiakos had 29’47″ and Arsenal had 26’53″ worth of actual possession. The remaining 35’34″ was time wasted on players arguing calls, resetting the game, taking throw-ins, and countless other ways that teams stop play.
Still, Olympiakos v. Arsenal was an atypical match for the Champions League. According to Otpa (via @Orbinho on twitter), the average time the ball is in play in most Champions League games is actually 66’54″ and the average amount of time wasted is 26’42″. The average amount of time wasted in a Premier League game is 29’42″. The average amount of time wasted when someone watches Stoke v. West Ham is 90’30″.
Video replay in the NFL takes 60 seconds.
Still too long, only retroactive bans are acceptable
I honestly don’t understand how someone can be against in-game video officiating but in favor of post-match retroactive bans because both use the same technology, and yet one gets the call right when it matters, while the other gets the call right when it doesn’t matter.
What if, last season during the final game between QPR and Man City, a QPR player had taken a dive in the 94th minute and the official awarded a penalty. Would anyone have cared that the official got the call right a week later and retroactively banned the player for two games? No.
Now, multiply that by every FA Cup game, every Champions League knock out match, etc. Retroactive bans are only useful if the official legitimately misses something truly egregious.
Video replay will not get all the calls right
Duh. Nothing will get all the calls right, short of omniscience. Video replay will, however, get more calls right. Or at least give the perception that they are getting more calls right. See, the Laws of the Game are really part of the problem.
Let’s say you have a collision between two players, officials are required to judge a person’s intent when deciding whether it’s accidental, intentional, careless, reckless, or whether one or both players used excessive force. If you’ve ever seen Howard Webb officiate a game then you know that one referee’s interpretation of recklessness is not the same as another’s. None of that will change using video replay refereeing.
The other problem is that (as I understand it) The Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB) issues interpretations of the Laws of the Game and these interpretations are not made public. In conjunction with video refs I would add that there should be a post-match break down of those decisions, including which laws were used to make the call. That way we can argue forever and a day over whether they were right in making the call.
The League Will Show Commercials During the Replay
Some folks argue that if you institute video replay officials, the League will be tempted to take a “time out” while the officials decide and during that time out, the television broadcasters will show commercials. I agree, they probably will.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but football is already overrun with commercials. In England, you have the shirt sponsor, the shirt manufacturer, the name of the stadium, the official ball, and every player has their own shoes. Some teams even have two sponsors, one for their home and away kits, or one for their regular kits and one for their practice kits. And every team, even the smallest team in League 4 has advertising hoardings.
Worse, if you watch any of the top clubs, the advertising hoardings are no longer static billboards telling you to get your truck towed by Bill’s Towing, they are now a movable feast of advertising which not only rotates through several different product advertisements in a game but include video and other action elements to draw your eye.
It’s all part of the arms race to add a few more coins to the coffers so that your team can buy (or not buy) the very best players they can afford. Given that, I think it’s natural that there would be commercials while the video replay official made a ruling on the field.
You have two choices if that happens 1) go get a beer like everyone else in the world does or 2) take some action against this travesty and start a major and I mean MAJOR leaflet campaign, follow that up with a car boot sale, a whist drive, some street theater, and possibly even some benefit concerts. I would recommend getting a start on extricating commercialism from football now, because you have a LOT of work to do. Good luck.
Did Cazorla Dive?
The award for “Most intentionally misconstrued interpretation of the laws of football” goes to this comment about Cazorla’s dive:
With due respect Yank, if you acquaint yourself with the FIFA’s Laws of the Game, Rule 12 (sic), you will see a player can be fouled, without actually being kicked.
Law 12, which I am familiar with as it’s the same law for Yanks as it is for Redcoats, does state that an “attempt to kick” is a foul.
A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following six offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:
- kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
- trips or attempts to trip an opponent
- jumps at an opponent
- charges an opponent
- strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
- pushes an opponent
We all know that attempting to kick an opponent is a foul if we’ve watched even a single season of football. For example, if Rooney knocks Cazorla over and while he’s lying on the ground Cazorla tries to kick him it is a foul regardless of whether he actually makes contact. Same with trying to punch someone in the face, it doesn’t really matter if you’re terrible at punching, just trying to punch someone is a foul! Note that these fouls do not occur when the defender is trying to win the ball. Those are a special category and will be dealt with in a second.
However, it’s not enough to attempt to kick someone to draw a foul, the person attempting to kick must also be acting in a way that is “careless, reckless, or using excessive force”. 99% of the time, if you’re kicking someone out of malice, it’s going to be at the least careless, if not reckless.
In the case of Reid v. Cazorla the question you have to ask, then, was whether Reid was careless? Depending on how you view the action that happened (and almost certainly whether you’re an Arsenal supporter or not) you can come to any number of conclusions. However, it looks to me like Reid tried to avoid the contact and in that case was actually showing some care for his fellow professional and as such, it cannot be a foul. That’s if you try to say that Reid was trying to have a kick at Cazorla.
Those six fouls above are not to be used to adjudicate a tackle. They are supposed to be for the situation where a player has a vicious little kick out at an opponent, not for when a defender thinks he can win the ball. In this case, I think Reid was making a challenge for the ball, not having a shitty little kick out at the opponent. In that case, the player must make contact for a foul to be called. Completely missing a tackle is not a foul.It’s in the laws.