Football: Video Referees in Major Competitions

It seems more than a mite odd that the imminent World Cup will still not be deploying advanced technology for referees during the 64 matches. Not for the first time some of us are asking: what is it with football - unlike rugby, tennis, cricket and most other mainstream sports - that it cannot get its head around the video age Because of FIFA\'s inability to get to grips with technology, we are, just as in Japan and Korea in 2002, about to witness a World Cup where refereeing controversies will be analysed and diagnosed on every TV station in the world, though not by any FIFA \"video referee\" who could have an almost instant and direct bearing on the matches. The reason for not being able to keep pace with other sports in regard to technology seems paltry - football\'s governing body claims it hasn\'t yet been able to find a system which can be implemented in events such as World Cups or European Championships. It is, frankly, ridiculous. We are in 2006, aren\'t we I mean, am I wrong, or do we not have modern technology quietly and efficiently contributing to just about every aspect of our daily lives Yet here is a major football tournament - run by a body, FIFA, which is cash-rich through myriad endorsement deals - which still will not be able to rule out what is known as \"Russian linesman syndrome\" at important moments. There will be no on-the-spot video analysis at this World Cup. There will be no goal-line technology - the most urgently needed requirement - over the four weeks. Nor will there be, unlike in cricket and rugby, even a 20-second delay as a video referee offers advice to a harassed and often unsighted referee.

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