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Spurs were robbed !


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quote:Of course, there will always be fruitless argument from those despicable ManU haters on this forum.
Match after match, year after year, Man U has been the victim of so many calls that have gone against them at Old Trafford that I'm sure we can all agree it's only fair that they finally, finally, just this once, get a call that goes in their favor. ;)

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For the linesman to claim he could not see it is bull. This screencap shows he should have had more than a good view of the ball over the line. Linesman (lower) and ball (top) are circled. Given the ball still has yet to reach Carroll and the linesman is moving back at this point, he should have been at least closing in on the 18 yard line, where the angle should have been quite apparent.


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Referees offered free eye tests

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) - An English referee's lot is rarely a happy one and the latest cheeky offer from a British firm of opticians is unlikely to cause a rush of applications for a job as the man in black.

Specsavers' publicity wheeze of offering referees a free eye test is more likely to generate a collective groan among the Premier League's officials rather than a wave of gratitude.

The offer comes two days after television pictures showed a long-range shot by Tottenham Hotspur's Pedro Mendes cross the line by several feet in the last minute of a league game against Manchester United. Neither referee Mark Clattenburg nor linesman Rob Lewis saw the incident clearly and failed to signal the goal and the game ended 0-0.

Their embarrassment was heightened when bookmakers William Hill said they would honour the bets of those punters who had backed Mendes at 20-1 to score the first goal and at any time in the match at 11-2.

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Video evidence would stop corruption too

The British public continues to hold referees in high regard, despite evidence elsewhere showing that they are corruptible. Which is where video technology comes in, suggests Paul Doyle

Thursday January 6, 2005


The most fascinating feature of the hoohaas that inevitably follow the many strange refereeing decisions we see up and down the land every week is what is not said. In most other countries, fans find a ready explanation for seemingly senseless rulings: someone, somewhere has been bribed. But in England, even amid furious calls for the introduction of technology, no one ever alleges corruption nor points out that the best reason for using cameras is to foil crime.

The suspicions of fans in other countries are fuelled by the knowledge that greed is ubiquitous and there is no magical immunity for football.

In 1997, for example, Belgium's top club Anderlecht finally admitted they'd paid the man in charge of their 1984 Uefa Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest, and in the same year Uefa imposed a life-time ban on Swiss referee Kurt Rothlisberger after he sought inducements from Grasshoppers Zurich. Just two years ago, three Czech referees were successfully prosecuted for taking bribes and another was banned for life after authorities got suspicious of the amount of offside decisions he gave in favour of Sparta Prague.

In England, however, folks happily ignore such evidence and rarely resort to conspiracy theories. Their national side has fallen victim to some startling injustices - such as when Ali Bennaceur missed Diego Maradona punch the ball past Peter Shilton or Urs Meier disallowed a Sol Campbell header after a phantom push - and their domestic leagues constantly churn out cases of match officials claiming to have simply not noticed a ball cross the line or a player blatantly foul another, but English fans consistently attribute preposterous decisions to just one thing: bad luck. Without wishing to suggest that there was anything corrupt about either Tuesday's incident or any earlier decision, the point remains that English fans' constant refusal to contemplate the possibility that something sinister might be afoot is... odd.

Fans have no trouble ranting that many players have no allegiance to their clubs nor any real passion for the game - that they're only in it for the money. Likewise, they believe many managers take bungs, club directors and FA mandarins seek nothing but prestige and that most agents rank somewhere below junkies and pimps in the scruples stakes. Perversely, the only people in the football world who are presumed to be pillars of moral rectitude are the men in the middle.

Why is this perverse? Because common sense suggests they should be the most corruptible. After all, they are paid a pittance: a Premiership referee reaps £50,000 a year, a miserable fraction of the salaries earned by those he supervises every weekend. Is it not hard to believe that constantly fraternising with multi-millionaires has not driven at least one man in black - possibly one in the red - to inquire about snatching a slice of the action for himself?

Even men of impeccable integrity, those that never covet other people's sultry wives or sumptuous lifestyles, encounter personal problems from time to time: imagine a ref who needs cash to pay for an operation for his wife, college fees for his kids or gambling debts to his ruthless creditors; would he not be sorely tempted to solicit a bribe?

Indeed, would he even have to go to all that effort, or do some conniving club chiefs employ stealthy goons to inform them of any ref who may be in dicey financial straits and therefore receptive to a bulky brown envelope? It's hardly impossible.

So why are English media and fans so reluctant to admit some of their officials could be frauds? It's not because they think refs are incapable of being dishonest. After all, phone-ins and letter-pages are always jammed with punters claiming such-and-such a ref supports such-and-such a club and loves awarding them penalties or sending off their opponents. But that's not dishonourable dishonesty - on the contrary, it implies the ref has a very noble trait, the one fans value the most: loyalty to his team.

It's sneaky, but it's not betraying the game. Another common complaint is that the ref caved in to the home crowd - again, that doesn't make him an evil-doer; rather he's a victim. So the question remains: why do English fans - and media - cling to the belief that a ref may be incompetent, weak or even slightly mischievous but certainly never soulless or desperate enough to accept money to influence a result?

Is it because they are determined to preserve the childish innocence that allows them to insist football is only a game? And that shattering that comfortable delusion would force them to recognise it's just a nasty, brutish and short-sighted adult business like so many others? Perhaps that's excessively cynical, but surely it is excessively naïve to believe that none of the outlandish decisions we regularly witness are down to corruption?

"Refs are only human" is the constant refrain, to which the obvious reply should be, "yes, all too human". Realistically and statistically, it's very likely there are corrupt officials in England, even if only a tiny number.

This, above any other reason, is why football must embrace technology. If goal-line cameras, eyes-in-the sky, video replays or any other affordable contraption can make it harder for bent officials to operate, then they must be introduced forthwith.

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I agree the images from beaches are great. The next piece of entertainment will be watching Ferguson bring in a new goalie to replace Carroll who replaced Howard who replaced the French goalie. Ferguson hasn't been happy since Schmaecel left.

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It would be interesting to see the uproar if Spurs end up missing a spot in Europe by two points. Consider the amount of money that would be lost as a result of missing out on lucrative $$$ from TV that playing in CL or UEFA cup nets for the clubs. That may ultimately be the impetus needed to implement technology to help the refs. Ultimately, its not sentiment or fairness that forces change. Rather, its money that talks. Therfore some good may come out of this episode. And, if the EPL goes ahead with these changes, then the rest of the world will certainly not allow themselves to be left behind

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Speaking of which, don't be surprised if it ends up being FIFA that hinders any progress in the anrea of technological improvements. Supose england goes ahead, can the professionals in Spain, Italy, Germany afford to not follow? If they do, they why not implement these changes in European int'l matches? But if that happens then could the third world afford to implement the technology?

I would imagine that it may pose a problem for even the CSA as far as cost. Furthermore, would the logistics of facilities like Commonwealth and Swangard allow the implementation of stardardized technology that is implement and used in Europe where soccer is the main tennant.

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