Nothing pisses me off in football more than hypocrisy! Example, January 27, 2010 “Video evidence, which shows Ferdinand striking Hull City’s Craig Fagan with an arm means that the Manchester United skipper must plead either precedent or accident at the hearing” The outcome? “That panel increased the mandatory three match ban by one game because Ferdinand’s challenge to the FA charge was deemed to be frivolous.” Ok, let’s for a moment accept that it may have been a fair decision.
Video technology is now being called for once again after referee Mark Clattenburg awarded a free kick to Wigan in their 4-0 defeat on Saturday, but chose not to take any action against Wayne Rooney for catching defender James McCarthy with an elbow. Does that mean that Clattenburg is biased towards United as so many rival fans like to claim? I hardly think so. Please give referees a bit more credit than that.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez admitted as much afterwards “It is a big call in the game. It is unfortunate because the referee saw it but he didn’t feel it was a red card. It was not because he was Wayne Rooney. It was an incident in the game. That is it. I saw the referee at half time. He said he felt it was not a red card and that Rooney had just clipped McCarthy.”
This has absolutely nothing to do with Rooney, Ferdinand or Manchester United but simply about the selective use of retrospective video evidence to punish certain offences. Let me confess that I’m completely in favour of using modern technology in football, it can only be a matter of time before it’s introduced so let’s have a look at what happens on the other side of the world – with the full blessing by FIFA.
The Australian A League has twice given three match bans this season, each for simulation in winning late penalties. The referee was duped on both occasions but following a close study of the incidents after the games, the two players involved were found to be guilty and suspended. All very fair one would think. Yet no such common sense is legislated for in the Premier League.
My plea is for some sort of consistency to be shown. Video replays are either shown as evidence or they ars not, they must not be used selectively. If players are to be punished based on video evidence, other critical refereeing decisions must be scrutinised in the same way. You cannot have one while ignoring the other.
Should SELECTIVE video technology continue to be used?