Spurs robbed

Posted Jan 04, 2005 in Sport.

Image of a football crossing a goal line

A truly dreadful bit of officiating robbed Pedro Mendes of a goal, and Tottenham Hotspur of a victory, in a game against Manchester United. In the eighty-ninth minute of the game, Mendes tried a shot from 60 yards out. United's Roy Carroll fumbled what should have been an easy catch, and the ball crossed the line by perhaps three feet. Incredibly, the linesman kept his flag down and lucky United salvaged a point.

Manchester dominated for most of the game, but were frustrated by a superb Tottenham defence. With great work from Paul Robinson and Ledley King, Spurs kept United's strikers at bay in some style. The result surely means that Manchester United are out of the title race, with only Arsenal having a good chance of catching Chelsea.

The linesman's glaring error opens up the whole debate over video replays, like those in cricket and most US sports. All the TV replays clearly showed the ball crossing the line by a yard. Do you think that there should be TV replays to assist Premiership officials?


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    Clever Google is automatically serving ads in my sidebar. Lots of United-related stuff, but where's the Tottenham Hotspur ads? Do I not mention Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) enough in my blog entry? You DO know I'm a Tottenham Hotspur fan, eh Google? That's Spurs - as in "Come on you Spurs!" Who wants to know anything about Man U when you can have Tottenham Hotspur news, Official Tottenham Hotspur merchandise, and other Tottenham Hotspur-related goodies. Did I mention Tottenham Hotspur? Yes. That's right, Tottenham Hotspur - based at White Hart Lane - home of SPURS.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Jan 05, 2005.

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    For me part of the fun of football is the fact that you do get some bad decisions now and again. Sometimes they go your way, sometimes they don't. This was clearly a poor decision by the man in black and it does always seem that Manchester United get the benefit of the doubt. However, on balance things tend to work out even over time.

    I love all types of sport, especially football (soccer) and I get very passionate whilst watching it. I just feel that the introduction of more technology makes the thing so serious. Pleasure should be derived from the game itself and whilst winning is important, it is not the only enjoyment that should come from watching it. If winning is all that is important to the viewer then I think they just don't understand sport.

    It is not like it is cheating. It is just that people make mistakes. A ref can make a mistake just like a player and that is one of the things that makes football the most popular game in the world.

    Posted by Tim on Jan 05, 2005.

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    With all due respect, we are talking about a game where the difference between success and failure is staggering. Millions of pounds, European competition, and professional careers are on the line.

    Some sort of goal-line assist, much like the technology used in tennis, would go a long way toward eradicating problems like this - without holding up the game for more than a few seconds.

    Tottenham Hotspur won that game fair and square, and only walked away with a single point because of shortcomings in the way the game is officiated. The referee already wears an earpiece to talk to the "fourth official", so why not extend that system to allow for goal-line decisions like this one?

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Jan 05, 2005.

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    I agree that the refs should have a replay facility. The problem is how to do it so that the game doesn't get delayed and drag on for hours, like American Football. I'm sure you've seen games where the last quarter, all 15 minutes of it, takes over an hour to play, due to timeouts and reviews of fouls, amongst other things. I guess that they would need to save a secondary team of refs watching the camera footage and in constant contact with the main ref through a headset. That way they could alert him to incorrect calls, or in this instance, dereliction of duty!
    It could be done for the Premier League but would not be feasible for the lower divisions. They could also use a system like this to keep a tally of bad calls and have idiots, like the linesman in question, relegated to the lower leagues, with an appropriate drop in pay. A performance based pay scale might get them to open their eyes once in a while!
    When I used to attend the occasional Pompey game, we used to always be shouting at the ref for being blind. I imagine the shouts in this instance were deafening!

    Posted by Adrian Rinehart-Balfe on Jan 05, 2005.