MIXED RE­VIEWS FOR FRENCH VIDEO AGONY

Tech­nol­ogy takes cen­trestage as Spain get two cru­cial de­ci­sions

New Straits Times - - Sport -

PARIS

“The ref­er­ee­ing re­solved the two ac­tions in a fair man­ner,” he said.

How­ever, it was clear on the night that the video process quickly wore out its wel­come when it took dozens of sec­onds each time, throw­ing cold water on the spec­ta­cle it­self.

It might be fair, ad­mit­ted French cap­tain and goal­keeper Hugo Lloris, “but is also kills off the joy of scor­ing a goal.”

French striker An­toine Griez­mann headed in what ap­peared to be the open­ing goal at the Stade de France shortly af­ter half-time, trig­ger­ing de­light in the stands and on the field af­ter France had suf­fered Span­ish dom­i­nance through­out the first pe­riod. Then came the ap­peal and the long wait for a ver­dict.

“It is a pain be­cause you have to wait be­fore you can cel­e­brate the goal,” he said.

For team­mate Kevin Gameiro, the flow of the match is lost and the lengthy process “breaks the beauty of the game.”

The 80,000 spec­ta­tors at the sta­dium were left out of the process with no video slow-mo­tion screen to view and saw only the hand ges­tures of the ref­eree, fram­ing the shape of a TV screen, to show that he wanted a video re­view.

“That de­hu­man­ises the game a bit, and can de­tract from the spec­ta­cle,” said for­mer ref­eree Bruno Der­rien.

“Foot­ball is about sen­ti­ments, in­clud­ing that of in­jus­tice. Video takes re­spon­si­bil­ity away from the as­sis­tant ref­er­ees. If I was an as­sis­tant I wouldn’t lift the flag to call off­side any­more be­cause you have video to de­cide all that.”

Use of tech­nol­ogy to as­sist ref­er­ees favoured by Fifa head Gianni In­fantino was first in­tro­duced in the 2014 World Cup to de­ter­mine whether the ball had crossed the goal-line in scor­ing sit­u­a­tions.

The process was sim­ple and un­con­tro­ver­sial, un­like the use of video as­sis­tance which can some­times be tricky and re­quire fine judge­ment.

For Pas­cal Carib­ian, the head of ref­er­ee­ing at the French Fot­ball Fed­er­a­tion, there should be no rush to judge­ment about video as­sis­tance which is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a two-year trial with a view to pos­si­ble in­tro­duc­tion at next year’s World Cup in Rus­sia.

“It is re­ally nec­es­sary to have a large num­ber of games be­fore your judge,” he said, say­ing it was not by chance that Fifa and IFAB, who over­see the rules of the game, have asked for a two-year trial pe­riod. AFP

AP PIC

Spain’s David Silva (left) and France goal­keeper Hugo Lloris (right) look on as ref­eree Felix Zwayer lis­tens to his ear­phone dur­ing their in­ter­na­tional friendly match on Tues­day.

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