Monday, 16 April 2012

Over the line...

Before we start I have to state that I am not a Chelsea fan... I have sympathies and an association... but I'm not a card-carrying, scarf wearing, Shed inhabiting Chelsea fan.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed their fine win at Wembley on Sunday and have enjoyed the smiling face of notjustmum lighting up the house. She IS a card-carrying, scarf wearing and one-time-shed-inhabiting, die-hard Chelsea fan and a real bluebird and, as such, was fearing the worst, especially as it was against Spurs.

But she needn't have worried. That wonderful Drogba strike at the end of the first-half changed the game and made sure it wasn't a repeat of the recent close, tense draw at Stamford Bridge between these two Londoners.

Then there's Chelsea's second 'goal'. And all evidenece at the time supported the view the ball hadn't crossed the line. The ref even appologised to Harry Redknapp after the game, apparently. John Terry, Frank Lampard and others all acknowledged the ball hadn't crossed the line.

Yet, Juan Mata clearly claimed it had and Martin Atkinson seemed pretty sure at the time. And this picture tells us why!
You can see why Mata raised his arms in triumph...

You can find it on MSN, BBC Sport and the Daily Mirror Sport pages... I haven't Photoshopped it. Its genuine. And it looks as if the ball could be seen to be over the line. The whole of the ball? Well, certainly more than we all thought from the TV pictures. Certainly more than most post-match reactions tell us. Certainly as much as the Liverpool 'ghost goal' in the Champions League semi-final against... Chelsea.

Martin Atkinson should stop beating himself up over it OR the non-sending off of Cech. That was a correct decision too: Adebayor had pushed the ball too far away for him to contnue on towards goal and was falling before he made contact with the Chlesea keeper. Bale didn't just appear from nowhere: he was keeping up with play and was able to score the goal. So, correct decision NOT to book or send-off Cech.

However, and back to the second goal, I DO think there ought to be some kind of 21st century assistance given to refs. Having extra refs behind goal-line as EUFA use is pointless and wasteful. FIFAs argument that technology is too expensive and cannot be installed in every ground and used at every game also, surely, applies to having 6 refs per game as is their preference and the case in Europa and Champions League games. For junior football, its often a handy day that has to take the whistle as a 'ref' cannot be found!

There are enough TV cameras at BIG games already and one or two can be set-up on each goal line. The fourth official can watch the replay WE all see at home and can communcate with ref if he needs to: they are alrady all chatting to each other through the game with their radio mics!

So, there you go. I've sorted it all out and solved all the issues.