Ref’s and the Forever changing football technology

Referees have a huge job/responsibly in terms of football decisions to make, new advancements in technology cHoward-Webban and will help the decision making for these refs and then because of the it will make footballing games more reliable and fair. Changes in football due to technology over the years so far are;

  • Video replays
  • Goal line technology
  • Foam technology ( Foam used to mark out ball and wall positions from free kicks)

Goal line technology has been the most recent and beneficial technology/rule change that has been installed into all high division leagues and competitions. A brief description of goal line technology is a camera that is placed filming the goal at all times, if a decision can not be made by the referee or any of his officials to whether the ball has gone in or not. Then someone will watch back the footage to determine if it is a goal or not, the technology can do this within 10 seconds, when the decision has been made the referee will be informed as to if the ball has crossed the line and will then award the goal if in that instance it is a goal.

Video replays in football will also allow referee to alter their decisions about free kick, goals cards and many other in game actions. A video decision will work similar to goal line technology where their will be a mother official watching back footage from the game ad deciding on how the act properly with the situation. For example if a player has gone down in the box and has been awarded a penalty, the video replay can determine if it is actually a penalty or if the player has dived. When the official watching the game back has made the decision he will inform the Ref of what actions to take and that will then solve the action in the game.

By having this new technology in place it assists the referee to play a fairer game by making these important decisions, but how do referees feel about this being introduced into their game?

An interview with Howard Webb about the new advances of technology in football by ‘CITYA.M’ discuses how he ( a highly respected and decorated Ref’ feels personally about the topic. In the interview Howard comments saying ‘In the late 90s we were given these chunky radios that sat in the middle of our backs with a big earpiece looped over your ear. But there was loads of white noise and interference where people could hear other radio users — taxi firms, pizza delivery people — and it was really difficult to make out what was being said.’  This shows how much of a struggle it was for Ref’s at he start of their career to communicate with the other officials and make important decisions with all this going on in their ear.

He later went on to talk about goal line technology saying ‘the introduction of goal line technology, and the wristwatch that lets you know if the ball has crossed the line or not. Referees love it. It takes away all the anxiety you might feel about getting a big call wrong and it gives you confidence and credibility with players.’ And also whilst on goal line technology commenting ‘ I had a situation in a game at Fulham in my last season where the ball hit the crossbar and slammed down onto the line. It looked just over to the naked eye but the watch didn’t activate and so the game continued while the fans were screaming their heads off.’ With the introduction of goal line technology for Referees it allows them to relieve the pressure and take the edge off their job during the game.

With Technology in football constantly getting better and people coming up with new ideas to that can influence the way the game is played, where does the FA draw the line? What incidents do you check? When do you check it? How long do you have to check it when the game is still live? Where do we draw the line? And how do we implement it?


Author: George Vines

Football Business & Media Studies; UCFB Wembley

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