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Video referrals in football gain referee backing

Luke Johnson

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Former Premier League referee Graham Poll has back FIFA propositions to introduce video referrals to football.

With the proposition, outlined yesterday by FIFA President Sepp Blatter, set to award top flight football managers one video ‘challenge’ per half, Poll has suggested the move is “a great idea”.

Speaking with the BBC, he stated: “It’s a great idea. The game has speeded up. Players are more crafty and deceitful than they have ever been. Unfortunately, that is a fact of life, therefore referees do need help.”

Although Poll is in favour of bringing more technology into the beautiful game, he questioned FIFA’s plans to give control of that technology’s use to managers.

"Everyone who watches a game on the television knows within seconds when a clear error has been made and the one guy that doesn't is the referee and that isn't fair," he said.

"I'm in favour of some technology. I would question whether we should give that power to the coaches or managers.

“They could use this tactically. You see tennis players sometimes who are looking for an extra 30-second breather will put an objection in knowing the ball has gone out.

"I think there should be other ways of reviewing situations."

With Blatter revealing the video referral technology could be trialled in football as early as next year, Poll has suggested that former referees would be better equipped to manage the use of TV replays.

He stated: "To my mind, there are plenty of good ex-referees who would be happy to sit there and review situations and help the referee.

"They are completely independent and neutral, not at the whim of a television company providing the angle they choose.

"The ultimate decision is with the referee on the field.”

Despite FIFA’s longstanding reluctance to introduce technology and changes to football, the latest propositions come just over 12 months after goal line technology was added to the Premier League.

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