So obviously there has been a whole bunch of controversy about the officiating job being done down in South Africa with the World Cup. There was the yellow given to Findley for a “handball” that hit nothing other than his face, and then Edu’s disallowed goal later in the same match with no foul that anyone can find in any replay. Brazil’s Kaka got a yellow (his second, meaning a red) for an incidental elbow caused by the opposing player flat-out running straight into him for no reason. England lost a goal that the refs just didn’t notice went in apparently. Scarily that’s not even all of them, but there are some of the more controversial calls for you.
A lot of people have mentioned that an instant replay akin to what we have with American football would solve the problem. It would, sure. Almost all of those mistakes could be overturned if the ref got a chance to watch it over from a few different angles. However, I don’t think it should be added at all. American football is naturally broken up. Soccer (as I will refer to it here for simplicity’s sake) is not at all. If the ref had to stop the clock and take a few minutes to review plays, it would totally disrupt the rhythm and momentum that makes soccer beautiful.
That doesn’t mean nothing should be done, however. I can’t remember where I saw it, but I read an article somewhere that had a great point. Soccer fields are far bigger than American football fields, yet soccer has fewer refs, only one of which actually patrols the field and watches for fouls and the like. I say add two refs to the field so we have more than one pair of eyes on the field. It is very easy for one ref to miss things or be over anxious, but having three pairs of eyes watching would undoubtedly cut down on the number of missed calls. I am a little weary of the possibility of refs getting in the way, as I have already seen the ref get in the way of a few plays this year, but as long as that didn’t become an issue, I think the addition of a few extra eyes would be an incredibly beneficial thing.