West Ham fan Billy Blagg believes Andy Carroll's suspension is another example of why it's time for video technology

West Ham United's Andy Carroll is shown a red card by referee Howard Webb. Picture: Action Images

West Ham United's Andy Carroll is shown a red card by referee Howard Webb. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
Last updated
by , West Ham fan

West Ham fans are rightfully angry over the three-match ban handed out to Andy Carroll for his alleged ‘assault’ on Chico Flores in the match against Swansea at Upton Park.

It seems astonishing that a governing body that prides itself on ‘Respect’ and ‘Fair Play’ should ignore evidence put before it.

Even if you accept that Carroll’s trailing arm was intentionally aimed and struck the head of Flores, video evidence clearly shows the arm brushed the top of Flores’ head, and for the defender to roll on the floor clutching his face is cheating – pure and simple.

So ban Andy Carroll? Perhaps at a stretch, but to let Flores off with not so much as a reprimand? Appalling!

Post-match red cards should be given out as well as rescinded.

But why wait till the end of the match anyway? All this could be seen if the third referee could use video evidence.

Of course, the issue here is that football’s governing bodies - either at national or international level - are notoriously slow in accepting new technology as a way of enforcing the rules of the game.

In tennis, rugby and cricket not only has technology been welcomed, it has been proved to have been extremely beneficial - even to the extent of making the game more exciting as spectators watch replays on a big screen.

In football the (poor) argument is that the game is ‘too fast’ to allow stoppages but, while this may be the case in open play, what difference would it make when the game naturally halts?

In an offside decision, for example, the play comes to a standstill as the linesman waves his flag or the team celebrates a goal.

Why not allow play to continue and then decide if the move was offside or not?

As a reminder of how slow football can be to accept change, consider the time it took to allow goal-line technology.

As FIFA began the slow process of asking companies to tender for the ability to decide if a ball had crossed a white line or not, I recall my own attempts to interest Sepp Blatter in an ‘invention’ of my own.

My ‘Tee-Vee’ - as I christened it – was essentially a box made of glass and plastic which sat in the corner of a room and replayed the moments of any match on something I called a ‘Vee-D-O recorder’.

I thought it was pretty successful – after all, when Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’in the 2010 World Cup match with Germany was said not to have crossed the line despite being two yards over, I was able to say with certainty it had, before Frank himself had run 30 yards to remonstrate with the referee.

I was astonished when no-one took my invention seriously.

Admittedly, my Tee-Vee couldn’t reveal if Geoff Hurst’s goal in the 1966 World Cup final had crossed the line but no technology is 100 per cent. In any case, that’s what Azeri linesman are for!

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