Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Bridge Too Far


At this point I am opining FIFA is losing its collective mind with the news they are actually considering video replays for matches.

Ah, have no fear you may say as it sounds innocent enough.

It is just being studied ... they say.

Simply a proposal ... some muse.

Why oh why are they doing this? It is clear enough they are unwilling to trust their own referees with the advent of GLT and have the ability to retroactively dole out punishment for incidents caught on tape that the match committee feels warrants additional action (this later practice I agree with).

Why, when GLT has been proven 100% effective in tests conducted by FIFA, used in various competitions, and is about to be used in all World Cup matches this year (assuming the stadia are competed) do we need more?

What is FIFA after?

Well ... here are some thoughts on this topic.

First, is a big fat I told you so. I somehow knew that once the camel's nose was under the tent, FIFA could not help itself. Take a look at what I wrote back on July 6th 2012 on the topic. I saw it then and am scared to death of it now.

Second, FIFA has no faith in its GLT system. It went to the lowest bidder after all. GoalControl has yet to be proven in any actual significant action and am willing to bet when really tested, it has not, and will not, perform well. PR videos of the "testing" are hilarious and I hope are not representative about what was actually done.

Third, FIFA really wants replay, and in fact it will swallow GLT whole. FIFA I opine is not happy with Goal, Offside, and Penalty decisions. I'll throw it out here that any replay decision will include all (3) of these.

How it gets implemented is anyones guess, but in any case it will be a disaster as you are going to have to stop the match either for the review, or the action that comes from the review.

Take the NFL or MLB as examples. In these cases, a review can be easily worked into the flow of the game itself as there are natural starts and stops all the time. Here it makes the most sense (I still hate it though).

Of all the other sports with reply the NHL may be the closest analog where they can look at a goal which was awarded that may not have counted for a variety of reasons (e.g. kicking the puck in the net). This, assuming I buy replay at all, makes the most sense ... but wait ... FIFA now has GLT that is 100% effective ... why are we changing course?

I think we are changing course folks as soon we will see either a booth referee looking at incidents, or a challenge type of system like the NFL and now MLB (thanks a lot Bud) where a limited number of challenges are allowed in a particular period of time.

It is unworkable in soccer as the game is too fluid for such drivel. That what makes it a beautiful game, and with continued tinkering how FIFA is going to ruin it.

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