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I have come up with an idea that will revolutionise football. And I was sober at the time.
It would solve immediately the problem of knowing when players handle the ball and help referees and linesmen give the right decision every time and cut out attempts by players pleading they never handled the ball when they have — especially in the penalty area.
I admit its still a work in progress … but I reckon someone could invent an electro-magnetic liquid which players have to dip their arms in before kickoff. This solution, invisible, weightless, and undetectable would then dry to create a “second skin” from the points of the arm and hands the laws state constitute the areas of handball.
An electro-magnetic chip would then be placed in a ball, or the ball would be dipped in the same electro-magnetic fluid — and every time the two made contact … ball and arm/hand — a buzzer would sound from special loudspeakers in the stadium. The system would also be read through long-sleeved shirts and gloves.
Immediatly the buzzer goes off, everyone among the players, officials and fans, would know the player has handled — no argument. Naturally, goalkeepers would be exempt and the system would only be activated when the ball was in play, meaning players could still take throw-ins and pick up the ball when a whistle has been blown.
The beauty of this system is that the referee can still decide whether it is accidental handball or not, or ball to hand.
The idea occurred to me after being at Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea v Bolton last week and Spurs v Chelsea on Saturday.
After the game at Stamford Bridge, Bolton manager Owen Coyle claimed his team were denied two definite penalties after handballs by Didier Drogba and John Terry were missed by the officials. Watching the replays afterwards, he was right. They were both definite handballs.
Then at White Hart Lane on Saturday a penalty decision went against Terry when he appeared to possibly use his shoulder, although replays seemed to suggest he headed it.
There’s a long way to go — and Sepp Blatter won’t like it. But something needs to be done.
PHOTO: Chelsea’s John Terry removes his captain’s armband after being sent off during their English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in London April 17, 2010. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
France’s decisive goal against Ireland in their World Cup play-off will only add further weight to the case for using a video ref, or extra goal-line officials, at least in the biggest matches.
The controversial extra-time strike from William Gallas took France through to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, while leaving the Irish barely able to contain a sense of frustration and injustice.
I have a suggestion on how to clear up inconsistencies with handballs.
Law 12 states that “a direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player…handles the ball deliberately”.
In reality, we all know this rule isn’t always applied correctly. When the ball strikes a hand or an arm which is well away from the body and all the stadium can see it, the referee will invariably give a foul whether it was deliberate or not (we can also argue whether the player is being naive by having his arms flailing about).