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I have never understood the arguments against using video replays to assist the referee in the European Cup, World Cup or any other major tournament.

Perhaps because the arguements against this additional technology do not really “hold water”.

The arguments against video replays are mainly (a) it is wrong to change the game and (b) that the game should be the same all over the world.

Let’s have a closer look.

(a) “It is wrong to change the game” fallacy:

  1. Video replays do not change the game in any way, the rules are the same, it is only to help the judges to enforce the rules. The referee occasionaly consults his assistant referees and the referee should have the option of consulting the fourth official which could have the aid of TV replay.
  2. Secondly, the game has often been changed. Remember the offside rule, the interpretation of hand-to-ball, passing the ball back to the goalkeeper? The ball is changed without notice and rules for substitution has been changed as well quite frequently. And the firth official was introduced only a few years ago. And now two more.

(B) “The game should be the same everywhere” fallacy:

  1. There’s more at stake than the major tournament than in junior leagues, it is watched world wide, the game is faster and harder to referee.
  2. There are a lot of things that are different at different stages of playing football. Just take the ball for an example. Or, again, the fourth referee. The two extra referees. In junior leagues the referees do not communicate through radio. Talk about using technology for the referees.

Using video replays would have help avoid the embarrassment of adding sixty-two end-line officials to the Euro 2012 – only to fail when needed.

– originally posted after England – Ukraina match