Football is a 60 minute game

Good morning one and all, I trust you are all well.

Over the last few posts we have looked at what can best be described as dubious officials, the potential use of video technology in the Premier League, using the video review panel to look at players feigning injury or tackles and suggested the FA, Premier League and Football League should start a campaign to encourage ex-footballers to become officials.

If you have not read the four articles to date or have missed one you can find them on the links below:
Is it time for a former players as officials campaign?
Feigning injury should be video reviewed
Officials Talk - Part Two
Are officials simply incompetent or something worse

The whole idea is not to denigrate officials but to face up to the problems and potential pitfalls and look at what solutions could be put in place to support them and make their job a little easier.

We have discussed the use of video technology in the Premier League and how it would assist officials to get decisions right and not as is often happening take the the result of games out of the players hands.

Now it may surprise you to know, because it certainly did me, that most football bets revolve around how a game is going to be stopped and how it is going to be re-started.

Armed with that knowledge that makes the potential for betting rings to be involved in the game huge and the officials are in control of the outcome of these bets far more than the players opening the door to the potential for wrong doing. There certainly need to be checks in place they this isn't happening and that games aren't being influenced and manipulated in this way. The danger is that when on that slippery slope it could lead to something far worse which is influencing the outcome of game and knowingly or unknowingly that is happening.

The video review is an essential tool to prevent that. One of the arguments against video technology in the Premier League being introduced is that it would interrupt the flow of the game so I thought I'd look up a few statistics to see if the evidence supports this view.

In Premier League games on average there are over 100 restarts per game, comprising of 45 throw-ins, 26 free kicks, 18 goal kicks, 11 corners, 3 kick-off after a goal. The start of each half is separate.

On average each stoppage lasts 20 seconds so in every minute you are only getting 40 seconds of football. Equate that over the match and you are getting around an hour football per 90 minutes, you are losing a third of the time.

If you lose 20 seconds for each stoppage, there is little difference for at certain points in the game stopping to look at a video review. It happened in the rugby at the weekend in the France England game I watched, did it ruin the game, not a bit of it.

So the potential is there in the natural stoppages in the game itself for a video replay not to have a negative effect. There seems little reason in this day and age not to include it with so much money in the game and the future of players, managers and clubs resting on the shoulders of the officials.

Introducing it would create huge media interest, fans interest, would raise talking points and help to keep the Premier League as a huge marketing vehicle. There are so many benefits and so few downsides that it has to happen, it will happen, the question is simply when.

Let's help officials out, let's stop living in the past and  introduce video technology into the Premier League as soon as possible.

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