Video technology could solely officiate football matches

Already successful in NFL, tennis and cricket, video technology could take over football as we know it to get consistency in the game.

Back in December, Japan’s Kashima Antlers were hosts of a historic moment for football after being the first side to be awarded a penalty from a video replay in the Club World cup semi-final.

Referee Kassai looking at the replay
Referee Kassai looking at the replay (@bbcsport)

Referee Viktor Kassai halted the match after being alerted to a previous incident by his video assistant, and pointed to the spot following the evidence of a trip.

However even that is not foolproof as the victim of the challenge was in an offside position!

Hampshire FA’s Referee Liaison Officer Andy Moisey suggests that robotics in refereeing may then be the only option to solve football’s problems.

Hampshire FA badge
Hampshire FA badge

“I know there are moves ahead, whereby they’re looking at video referees to come in on certain incidents. Obviously at the higher level of the game, what has helped is goal-line technology.

“We all make mistakes, we are human. We are not robots and mistakes will happen. What we’re trying to do is obviously alleviate those mistakes, so they don’t happen and even more so at the top levels of the game.”

Although video footage might not be as high tech as robots officiating, this feature is regarded by many as progress into improving consistency within the game.

However, Ian Herding, the Welfare Officer at Southampton FC Academy, says video assistants would be a bad idea.

“I think football is a better game because of the human error. Part of football is human error. Players make mistakes, therefore you’ve got to allow referees to make mistakes and everyone’s got to understand that that’s part of the game.”

Until technical systems start officiating matches, such incidents will remain part of the game with understandable human error.

By Danielle Hickman