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Tell me again why there can’t be instant replay in soccer?

Item one, Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal for England against Germany:

Note how utterly out of position the official’s assistant was for this. Seems to me that if you’re going to have a camera in the goal, you may as well use it. As they say in that ESPN clip, FIFA refs are already using technology to communicate with their assistants. And hell, hockey has used cameras to validate goals for a million years now. What is the problem with this?

Item two, Argentina’s offsides goal against Mexico:

ESPN video is here, and a clear view of Tevez heading the ball in, which I hadn’t noticed at first viewing, is here.

All of this is without taking into consideration the well-known bad calls that affected Team USA. None of this is gray zone, subject to interpretation stuff. These two non-calls today are as clear as you could want, and would have been trivially corrected with any halfway decent instant replay implementation. The debate about this is over. The technology exists. It won’t get everything right, but it will sure as hell get a lot more of it right than what we’re getting now. Hiding behind platitudes about the “human element” is little more than nihilism. Allowing obviously bad calls to stand because there is no mechanism to deal with them is the antithesis of letting the players decide the outcome. It’s well past time that every sport recognized that and took whatever steps they can to integrate technology into their officiating.

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4 Comments

  1. Bill Kelly says:

    I have heard some people say the linesman was out of position. I disagree, his primary responsibility was to be even with the 2nd to last defender (the goalie is the last) in order to see an offsides. So while the call was completely wrong, you can’t knock the linesman for not being two places at once. He himself had an extremely difficult angle to view the goal and clearly shows the need for cameras along the goal line.

    bk

  2. Matt says:

    Don’t forget the non-call on Mexico’s first goal vs. France. While they went on to lose 2-0, the French defenders understandably stopped assuming the offside call was coming, leaving their goalie defenseless.

    Let the “defenseless French” jokes begin…now.

  3. […] still doesn’t think a replay implementation would have done anything about the Argentine offsides goal against Mexico. I say that’s a tautology. A setup in which a booth official is empowered to view replays and […]

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