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Dubious Goal(s)

Tired of NCAA basketball, I flipped over to Fox Soccer Channel on Saturday and joined the Blackburn-West Ham match in progress. Blackburn was already up 1-0 in the second half, when West Ham, in relegation danger, came back with two goals against American Brad Friedel on the road. Argentine Carlos Tevez was involved in both situations.

The equalizer came on a penalty kick following a questionable call in the box. The second goal -- in which the initial shot was cleared off the line by a Blackburn defender and the "goal" was cleared off the line by a West Ham teammate who appeared offside -- never should have counted. Bizarre sequence. Check out the highlights and feel free to fast-forward to the second half.

Perhaps soccer needs video review for the most extreme cases. Why not allow the referee to check a sideline monitor on a goal line issue? What do you think?

By Steve Goff  |  March 18, 2007; 9:23 AM ET
Categories:  World  
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Comments

Were these guest referees from MLS?

Posted by: griffin1108 | March 18, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Tough call for the Rovers. I don't envy a ref 30 yards away making a call like that within a split second of the action.

What happened to the microchip and sensor experiment that would detect a ball completely passing the goal line? I know there was lots of talk about it a couple of years ago.

I think video review has it's advantages, but it'll also slow the game and reduce part of the excitement of constant action. On the other hand, a simple alert from a sensor that a ball's gone over the goal line won't stop action unless the goal is scored.

I'm sure Blackburn's had dubious goals scored in their favor, so, while this hurts today, it probably all evens out in the end.

Posted by: Beaker | March 18, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

No doubt that the PK call was legit. I can't believe you would post video evidence and claim that was a bad call. The defender slides in, misses the ball and clearly clips the defenders left foot with his trailing leg. Good call by the ref. The other situation, well, that one is pretty obvious also. Shouldn't have been a goal. The result should have been a tie. Maybe replay is a good idea for goal line situations such as this one.

Finally, anyone who harps on the referees should go call a few matches. It's a VERY difficult job, especially at higher levels, and you should experience it firsthand. With that being said, a lot of refs do perform poorly. But should the officials start harping on the players every time they mess up the game? "Nice blast into the forty-seventh row! That was a terrible shot." "Didn't you see that wide open midfielder? You shouldn't be such a ball hog." I don't think that is in the spirit of the game.

Posted by: Andy In Asheville | March 18, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

no video replay....

tough call on 2nd goal. moving on.

Posted by: JSF | March 18, 2007 10:16 AM | Report abuse

How about the unbelievable goal by Paul Robinson off a 70-plus yard free kick in the Tottenham-Watford match? Every time PR took a kick after that, the Spurs fans all shouted "SHOOT!"

http://youtube.com/watch?v=pEQkA1YIadA

Posted by: DCbird | March 18, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I think FIFA ought to require referees to confirm their decisions to award penalties through video replay. The punishment is too severe as it is (and I'd be in favor of moving the spot back to a reasonable distance), and with all of the diving that goes on the result is an element of arbitrariness that does not befit the game. There is often no way for a ref to discern between a dive and actual contact in the box -- except via video replay.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 18, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

DCbird:

Thanks for posting that clip.

Unbelievable!!

SG


Posted by: Goff | March 18, 2007 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Andy, too bad this post doesn't have smileys, because my comment was, partly, tongue in cheek. The PK was 50/50, but I would agree with the call. The second call on the goal was absolutely atrocious and completely indefensible on the part of any referee and AR who gets paid to call the game because they didn't get the most obvious call right: that is, did the ball completely cross the line? And they blew the offside as well. I understand about the speed of the game, but given the very few number of goals scored in a game, you have to get those calls right and there was no mitigating factor for the ref and AR on the second goal.

Posted by: griffin1108 | March 18, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Cobi's scheduled a press conference for Monday. I guess this will be his last season, unless he's planning to run for President.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 18, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Yup, Cobi is done after this season.

Posted by: Goff | March 18, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Just curious, is Fox Soccer Channel a tax write off for you?!

Posted by: delant | March 18, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Video? Never. The underlying ethic of the game in England is "get on with it". Video in gridiron football is no guarantee of justice, just a guarantee of endless waiting, while a bunch of humans try to turn a human endeavor into laboratory science.

Chip technology? Sure why not. What's the downside, that it won't work? Any attempt to mitigate that appalling decision yesterday is worth the effort. The 3 pts. the Hammers gained yesterday will reverberate throughout the bottom of the table, especially with Charlton grabbing 3 pts. today. Big money at stake. Worth a look.

Posted by: JkR | March 18, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Ha! I guess I could write-off that $5 monthly charge for Comcast's Sports Tier (FSC, GolTV, etc.).

Posted by: Goff | March 18, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I think the PK was legit. It looked like he clipped the ball a bit, but got more of the man. Live and at full speed I can accept the refs making that call.

There is no excuse for the second goal though. I can understand blowing a goal line call (technologically speaking there is no excuse that we don't have a simple and cheap answer to this issue), but the blown offsides is unacceptable. The ball hit the player, so there isn't even any merit to him being passive.

I refuse to accept that Abby is not the worst ref in the world though. He would have found someway to make that even more controversial. ;)

-dave

Posted by: gnat | March 18, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The PK call was legit, unfortunate, but legit. There was no need for the defender to tackle in that situation, bad play.

On the other goal, it was pretty clearly not completely over, but how is a linesman 30 yards away (or whatever) supposed to see that clearly on a bang-bang play with other players and the post in the way?

It would be easy to solve this problem with a chip or some other sensors (I've actually always thought you could resolve offsides in the same manner), and given how precious goals are in football (not to mention the massive money involved), why not try it? You could test it in lower level divisions until all the bugs are sorted out, and then bring it up to the Premiership.

Posted by: edgeonyou | March 18, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

As a West Ham fan, I was just fine with the calls, haha.

Its about time lady luck sided with West Ham.

Probably should have video replay of goals however

Posted by: West Ham Fan | March 18, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Pk legit. 2nd goal terrible call.

Posted by: Matt y | March 18, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Definitely need video reply if a coach challenges whether the ball crossed the line. It hardly ever happens, and it took all of a minute to see three replay's that the ball didnt cross the line.

The game's already stopped, so there wouldnt be a disruption. Shouldn't be video replays for anything else, except for whether the ball crossed the goal line.

Posted by: Dave | March 18, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Sure, let replays to confirm whether the ball goes over the line. Why stop there? After showing the replays on TV, let the fans vote. Text "WestHam "or "Rovers" on Vodafone (charges apply). One lucky voter receives free tickets to an NFL Europe match.

Sheesh!

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | March 18, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

All the assistant had to do was replay the 2nd goal inside his head to know that Tevez was offsides. A West Ham player, the only player, on the endline MUST be offsides.

Posted by: Justin | March 18, 2007 8:40 PM | Report abuse

As for offside on the 2nd goal - if you believe the ball crossed the line before hitting Tevez he CANNOT be offside as he was not involved in the play (once the ball crosses the line the ball is dead)...in the eyes of the ref he didn't play a live ball, nor did he interfere with the goalie or defender (they were in front of him) nor gain an advantage by being in an offside position.

As it is they blew the call and he was offside. And the announcer was dead wrong, the ref can change his decision any time before the re-start. Once the ball is kicked the call stands.

Posted by: uniteo | March 18, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Hammers need a win to keep half of the East End from committing suicide. Rovers will survive.

Posted by: Kaloramaist | March 19, 2007 12:17 AM | Report abuse

I've got a great idea ... let's Americanize soccer! Put seven referees on the field! Replays! Budweiser! Seven hour games! Sue the refs!

I watched the West Ham game. The announcers said that the AR made the call. Their replay was pretty conclusive that he made a bad call. But that happens. Would there be more controversy if this was a Chelsea/Manu game for first place? You bet but this is real football, not American commercials interrupted occasionally by a football play.

Posted by: Pedro Burrito | March 19, 2007 7:51 AM | Report abuse

That is the AR's call all the way. There's no way the referee can tell from his angle. That's why the AR is there. He just totally blew it. Frankly it's usually not that hard to tell "from 30 yards away" whether the ball crossed the line. If you're on the goal line and see the whole ball behind the post it's over the line. I suppose the problem on this play is that it was such a scramble in front of the goal it's likely the AR was not right on the line and was probably starting to run out or was at least a couple of yards off the line.

They had a little feature on the video technology a couple of weeks ago on either the EPL preview show or Sky Sports news with the developer of "hawkeye" that's used in tennis. They have the goal line cameras set up at a number of stadiums and they are gathering data to make sure it works. I guess the plan is to use a signal like the one that's in place now for the AR flags or on the referee's headset.

The problem for soccer is that since the beginning they have tried to have the same set of Laws for every level of the game. When you start introducing technology, it is only feasible to have it at the very top levels of the sport that can afford all of this stuff. There will need to be a change of mindset at FIFA and that seems to be coming slowly into place.

Posted by: Glenn | March 19, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

My 2 cents. No video replay. The refs get it right often enough, and as was pointed out earlier, the video replay in the NFL still results in many mystifying calls. No silver bullet, that's for sure.

Chip techonology is a GREAT idea. I'm assuming it's the "purist" viewpoint that's kept it from being implemented. What do you think, Goff? Why haven't they implemented chip technology?

As to the earlier post about needing video replay to confirm PK calls, the easiest way to clarify PK calls is for FIFA to start punishing divers. That IS something you can do with video replay ... AFTER the game. If you eliminate (or reduce) diving by levying post match fines, then the referee can make PK calls with confidence.

Posted by: Matt | March 19, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh, relax. Even the announcers of the game (who Im pretty sure aren't stupid americans... like me... who want to ruin the game), stated it's time for a video reply for whether the ball crossed the line. There's no need for a knee-jerk reaction that doing so would americanize the game.

The technology is there. It's only a matter of time, especially given the amount of money in the game these days.

Posted by: Dave | March 19, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Also, I don't like Budweiser.

Posted by: Dave | March 19, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Um, on the second goal, you do know that there was a Blackburn player on the post when the ball came in to the West Ham player standing alone in front of Friedel. Blame the Rovers defense for letting a man stand unmarked in front of goal but don't blame the referee for not calling him offside because of the guy on the post.

Posted by: DCFan | March 19, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Several things I'll bring to the discussion as a referee (and I'm boning up for my Pro-license next year).

I agree big time with Andy at the top of this comment section that anyone who is dissing the refs should go offer to ref their Sunday League games, or even a scrimmage with the whistle. It ain't easy at all when it's going fully speed and you have to make a decision right away. It's not easy at all, and you should try it sometimes.

Uniteo is right that if the ball is across the line it's a goal, and the West Ham player who touches it doesn't matter. He's not blocking off Friedel in anyway. Which means he's not offside in terms of gaining an advantage.

Lastly, though it is the AR who has the final decision (and well done by the referee for the card for dissent and protecting his AR), he's not on the endline there. In fact, he's about two yards off the line with Friedel, and so he may have seen the whole ball cross from that difference in angle.

The chip balls are busted. Evidently they were used in the U-17 world championship two years ago and the chips kept coming loose inside. There was a piece on them in the most recent World Soccer mag, ironically advocating for TV replay like many of you are suggesting.

I don't like the idea of a replay here or at all. The ball didn't go into the goal, the player didn't gain an advantage (he cleared it off the goalline) and so the ball is actually back in play. What is the restart? The referee stops play with a whistle, which means that by the current rules he'll have to drop ball it at the top of the six, and that's even less fair than a PK. And the whole idea of every PK foul having to be reexamined? What's the restart there? An indirect free kick and a card for diving? Seriously, you want to try reffing that and selling that call? Good luck.

Posted by: G-Unit | March 19, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

@ DCFan

Check the Laws, offside is in relation to the second to last defender. If the goalkeeper is upfield from you, you need two field players behind you to be in an onside position.

Posted by: uniteo | March 19, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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