LONDON: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenge has returned to the attack on the additional assistant referees who were the brainchild of his fellow Frenchman Michel Platini.
Wenger has complained in the past that the goal-line officials used in UEFA’s European competitions bring nothing to the game apart from managerial frustration over their inactivity.
He picked up the theme in reviewing Arenal’s midweek Champions League clash with Anderlecht when the Belgians rescued a draw from 3-0 down fter being ‘gifted’ an offside opening goal.
Live TV pictures – never mind the replays – showed that Anthony Vanden was well offside in stabbing home the Belgians’ first goal. The offence was missed the linesman and referee and Wenger complained that the additional official had been perfectly placed to make a decision himself.
Wenger said: “Every time we go to UEFA Pierluigi Collina [UEFA’s chief refereeing officer] explains to us that the fifth referee is a fantastic finding. But when you see the pictures of the first goal, it is unbelievable. A guy stands behind the line in front of the offside guy and does not stay a word.
“I do not know what the guys behind the line are paid for. That is a general feeling shared by everyone who watches football. They should buy a seat for them, and give them a good book.”
Platini, the UEFA president, believes the additional assistants are preferable to goal-line technology because they have a wider remit. Collina believes that their mere presence disssaudes defenders from holding opponents in the penalty box.