LONDON: Arsene Wenger wants the debate on video technology to go beyond goal-line decisions and embrace decisions across the pitch writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The Arsenal manager demand followed a week of high-profile mistakes by match officials in the Premier League which saw two offside goals awarded to Chelsea against Wigan last Saturday and Manchester United deprived of a clear hand-ball penalty against Wigan on Wednesday.
He said: “Last weekend was a very, very bad weekend. The football authorities on a global scale have to sit together and see how we can improve. There are some immediate decisions to make but as well it is time for us to help the referees. To all be united and have a less conservative approach and finally opt for video.
“Video will help the referees, not question their authority. It will give them more credit, more authority and less mistakes. (We need) instant video replays on the demand of the referee.”
Wenger denies it would slow the game, a main concern of FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
He said: “It would not stop the game. It would sometimes give a bigger flow to the game. Why? Because if I am a linesman and an offside decision is a 50-50 I’m tempted to stop the game. If I know I have a video behind me I am tempted to let it go if I’m convinced it is a real 50-50 and you could improve the flow of the game and check after.
“Football is the first sport in the world today but we have to accept we have the most conservative approach to the game than any other sport. It can be a strength but on the refereeing side I think it is a weakness.”
Wenger believes there should be a much larger pool of referees available for Premier League duty.
He added: “I don’t think referees are bad. I just think the game is so quick. It is impossible for a human being to see everything no matter how good you are. Out of 100 situations (with instant videos) you would be less wrong than you would be today because you would have help.”
Arsenal play Wigan on Monday and full-back Kieran Gibbs and forward Gervinho could be available after recovering from groin and ankle injuries respectively. Laurent Koscielny is suspended.
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