Deal with it, get over it, move on

Blimey. You’d think with all the troubles in the world that there would be more important things to worry about other than THAT goal that wasn’t a goal at Old Trafford last night. But Radio Five has been banging on about it all day.

I suspect there wouldn’t have been quite so much fuss if it had been ABU (Anyone But United) given the conspiracy theorists belief that all referees, linesmen and fourth officials all wear red shirts beneath the black. Human error by the officials is part of what makes the game great and gives us something to bleat about win, lose or draw.

Now there is a clamour for the introduction of technology — micro-chipped balls (ouch), goal line cameras, sat-nav, robot referees, you name it. It will be the death of the game I tell you because it won’t end with iffy goal line clearances. Next it will be offside calls, penalty shouts, was-it-wasn’t-it a foul and before you now it, a match will be three hours long and boring as hell.

Mind you, not even technology is immune from human error. One of the contributors to the debate was Jonathan Agnew who was reporting on the cricket in South Africa. Cricket has used technology for years to decide whether someone is in or out. Apparently Aggers was sitting next to the third umpire who had been asked to adjudicate in a one-day international.

The replay clearly showed that it wasn’t a run-out, but the umpire pressed the wrong button and out flashed on the board instead of out.

I’ve just listened to Jonathan Pearce (commentator and a Spurs fan) passing judgement on Radio Five. He was at the match and said he could clearly see it was a goal from where he was on the media gantry, so why couldn’t the ref?

Exactly, Jonathan. Like tv, you had an aerial view where it was an easy call. But not on terra firma like the ref. Different story down there, Jon. And the rules say a ref isn’t expected to guess his (or her) decisions.

So when you’re bored witless watching a stop-go-stop-go one-day footie match, overseen by an android with laser beam eyesight and have absolutely nothing to get worked up about in the pub afterwards, remember you can console yourself with the thought that it was all ManU’s fault. Bastards.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

4 comments… Add yours
  • Steve 5th January 2005

    Methinks you doth protest too much 😉

    BTW Wasn't the umpire thing human error?

  • Anonymous 6th January 2005

    As much as I like you and respect you Ian, your football team have the most corrupt officials I have ever seen (and I've seen both Cradley Heath [RIP] and Eastbourne Speedway). As well as this particular incident, how many times have Man U scored in 'extended' overtime?!

    However, big up Fergie for actually dondemning the hometown decision this time…

    Mark x

  • Shooting Parrots 7th January 2005

    Thanks Steve. Yep the umpire thing was human error, that was the point — even with all the technology he still managed to stuff it up.

    And Mark, do I detect a note of bitterness? Yes Man U have scored late in many games, but that is down to the players being quite good — it isn't the ref who sticks it in the net.

    I think officials do an honest job and don't favour any team over another, be it Man U or even Arsenal (spit.)

  • Mosher 7th January 2005

    Hmmm… but when ManUre score deep in jury time, it's usually 2 mins longer than the 4th official has indicated and *that* is 2 mins longer than the time that has actually accrued.

    Allegedly. Or something.


Your email will not be published on this site, but note that this and any other personal data you choose to share is stored here. Please see the Privacy Policy for more information.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: