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Why can’t divers be punished immediately?

October 25, 2010

SOCCER-ITALY/Juventus winger Milos Krasic dived to win a penalty in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Bologna. We know this because his team mates have admitted it, even if the replay evidence was pretty clear anyway. No contact at all and no slip.

Justice was done for Bologna when Vincenzo Iaquinta fluffed the spotkick but if he had scored, the goal would have stood and there is nothing in soccer’s rules to reverse it.

Krasic could face a ban from Serie A in the next couple of days because of Italian federation rules allowing video evidence to be used to review referees’ decisions.

Several other leagues don’t permit the referee’s authority to be questioned in this way and only rule on cases of mistaken identity or on action the officials haven’t seen.

But if video evidence is going to be reveiwed a couple of days later, when it would have been no use to Bologna, why can’t the evidence be looked at immediately, therefore preventing the penalty?

Ian Holloway, boss of promoted English Premier League club Blackpool, reckons the fourth official could have a booth by the dugouts with a television feed where he could quickly check crucial decisions. 

The fourth official has slightly more power this season, he can alert the referee to incidents he might have missed, but other than controlling managers in the technical area and holding up the electronic board, his time could be used better.

It’s an age-old issue and FIFA is re-examining the idea of technology. But haven’t tennis, cricket and other sports proved that the answer is so simple?

PHOTO: Juventus’ Milos Krasic (R) tumbles past Daniele Portanova of Bologna during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna October 24, 2010. REUTERS/Paolo Bona

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