Fail­ing to crouch, touch or en­gage with the week­end’s sport

Irish Examiner - Sport - - OPINION -

This page op­er­at­ing, as usual, roughly half a decade into the fu­ture, in April 2012, fol­low­ing a fresh out­break of the usual clam­our for video ref­er­ee­ing, warned what would oc­cur should it ever come to pass.

Foot­ball crowds sapped en­tirely of spon­tane­ity, ev­ery piv­otal de­ci­sion re­viewed, ref­er­ees ab­di­cat­ing all re­spon­si­bil­ity. And re­plays able to prove just about ev­ery penalty box ‘com­ing to­gether’ in­volves some sort of foul. Con­trovassy re­placed by con­tro­vArsy, as we’ve now seen. And af­ter An­field last Satur­day, panic has al­ready set in.

Ac­tu­ally, we took you fur­ther down the line, to when man­agers will be given chal­lenges, which was the pop­u­lar so­lu­tion mooted this week, now ev­ery­one has seen how un­man­age­able the cur­rent in­car­na­tion will be.

That won’t work any bet­ter. Over the last five years, the aver­age Premier League game has thrown up fewer than three goals. Give gaffers two chal­lenges each and one thing you can be sure of is that ev­ery goal awarded will be sub­ject to chal­lenge. And per­haps counter-chal­lenge.

And how would that even work? Would a man­ager need to de­scribe ex­actly what he’s dis­put­ing, or just take a punt?

Be­cause, if he’s just con­ceded from a cor­ner, he’d be bang un­lucky not to turn up some kind of foul.

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