Tuesday 24 May 2011

Now We See More. Well, Not Really

The following incident occurred during the Europa League Round of 16 second-leg match between Glasgow Rangers and PSV Eindhoven on Thursday 17 March 2011. The match finished 0—1, with PSV advancing 1—0 on aggregate to the quarter-final stage.

There was a goal-mouth incident where a Rangers goal-bound shot was stopped by a PSV defender's hand. However, despite the fact that seven out of eight Rangers players in the penalty area and nine PSV players saw the handball, apparently none of the match officials (R, EAR, AR or even the 4th Official) saw the DOGSO offence.

Here are the freeze frame from 5 different camera views.

Camera View A:

Camera View B:

Camera View C (with magnification bubble):

Camera View D:

Camera View E:

Walter Smith, Rangers manager, said on BBC Sport:
"I don't know how many officials we have got on the pitch but they all missed it."

Walter Smith is not the only one who doesn't know how many match officials are present in Europa and Champions League matches!

UEFA appears to pride itself in their experiment using additional assistant referees (or EARs). However, this post will repeat the concerns about the use of EARs and their extra pairs of eyes.

HKRef wonders whether:

1) there are 5 or 6 match officials?
Yes, like Walter Smith, we are confused about how many match officials there are. UEFA continues to call this an experiment using 5 match officials (officially stating "5 Referees") but there are clearly 6 match officials in the team.

2) “more vision, communication and information” is having the desired effect.
What desired effect?
a) If the desired effect is for match officials to identify more incidents occurring in the penalty area as well as to have a deterrent effect on players who may like to foul in the penalty area (as officially stated when EARs were first introduced in the 2009-10 Europa League), then the experiment has failed.
b) Furthermore, if the desired effect is to improve the performance of the match Referee in terms of better decision making and enhanced credibility (as implied by the introduction of EARs to assist the Referee), then that too has failed.

3) the campaign for more respect for Referees will be undermined by missed incidents.
Examples include this post's DOGSO handball that was missed by all match officials plus others elsewhere)
By having a detrimental effect on the performance of the Referee, the EAR experiment provides players, coaches, fans and commentators with more "ammunition" to disrespect match officials.

HKRef does NOT consider the use of EARs or additional assistant referees to be a proper trial or experiment that will yield valid results. This is because UEFA, FIFA and IFAB have not, and in all likelihood will not, provide their methodology, results, and interpretation of results freely and transparently to the public.

Related Post

Now We See More. Yes, But Do Referees Perform Better?

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