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Mourinho's extraordinary TV appearance highlights referees' need for more technology

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It took a Frank Lampard goal -- a goal that looked a goal to everyone but the two people charged with calling it a goal, the referee and the linesman -- on the biggest of the world's big sport stages to get goal-line technology finally adopted in the richest and most-televised football league in the world.  It was too little, too late, but too little, too late is still better than nothing at all, never.  The instantly available, indisputable decisions of goal-line technology made the game fairer and faster, and also made an entire genre of refereeing protests and post-match interview questions go extinct faster than footballers' hairstyle fads.  Everybody wins!  (Except Luis García.)

Goal-line technology is just the first step.  It's a relatively small step, too, considering how rarely goal-line controversies come up.  Referees need a lot more help, a lot more often, on a lot more common game situations.  They need more eyes, better eyes, technological eyes.  They need video, they need computers, and they need the help to be able to make the correct call with greater regularity than they could ever hope to do it currently.

"The best players in the world they can make mistakes; the best players in the world miss penalties, the best goalkeepers in the world make mistakes. This gentleman (Atkinson) is one of the top referees in this country, he's one of the top referees in European football. He can make mistakes. He made four important mistakes (on Saturday). You want consistency but consistency in the right way."

"What would I improve (for the referees)?  If the referee cannot see a penalty three metres in front of him, an official in front of a screen cannot miss it. If we want to protect the integrity and the honesty of the referees, if we want to believe - and I believe that the mistake is the consequence of a misinterpretation, of a bad position, of the unpredictability of the situation and of the game - I think technology can help."

"If I was a referee I would welcome it. It's the same thing with the goal-line technology: it makes a difference. You go one, two, three, four, five weeks without any incident and you think goal-line technology is not important but in a certain moment the technology will be important."

-Jose Mourinho; source: Sky

Implemented the right way -- and that bit is certainly key -- technology is the only answer that will let the beautiful game remain beautiful and free of constant controversy.  Or, if you tend more towards the cynical side of things, the richest game remain free of multi-million dollar decisions resting on the shoulders of one single underpaid unfit tired near-sighted middle-aged, imperfect human.

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