Colin Bryden

Put SWC divers in with Bakkies

2010-06-29 08:46
Sport24 columnist Colin Bryden (File)
Colin Bryden

As one of the comments to a previous column so sagely noted, I am no soccer expert but I am astonished that football continues to live in the dark ages when it comes to technology.
I don't know how many people watched the Germany v England game on television but I would imagine it must have been a hundred million or more.
Every one of those viewers could see clearly that Frank Lampard's shot bounced over the line after hitting the crossbar and that a goal should have been awarded.
Virtually the only people on the planet who couldn't see it were the referee and linesman. How foolish, then, that they should have to endure the criticism of angry fans - not because they were incompetent but because they didn't have a friendly fellow official in the television booth to tell them it was a goal.
I can understand the argument that football is a flowing game and you don't want lots of interruptions. But goals are so hard to come by at the highest level that decisions about them - as with tries in rugby or an increasing number of decisions in cricket - should be subject to referral.
Enough of the goal that wasn't, which on the run of play is unlikely to have stopped younger, faster Germany from beating ageing, leaden-footed England.
I also believe technology should be used to stamp out what I believe is the scourge of soccer - the blatant cheating by players who go down as if they are mortally wounded at the slightest touch from an opponent.
Even if the culprits can't be caught during a game - although crucial free-kick decisions could also be reviewed quickly by a television ref - there should be a review system in place, as with citing in rugby.
The most blatant divers should be banned for at least one game - or maybe they should be condemned to playing rugby against Bakkies Botha to see what real physical contact is.

Colin Bryden is a former cricket correspondent of the Sunday Times and current editor of the Mutual & Federal South African Cricket Annual

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.

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