Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Video not the answer, says Fulham boss Hodgson

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson feels it would be “naive” to believe all of football's problems could be solved with the introduction of video technology or extra referees.

FIFA are expected to approve UEFA president Michel Platini's plan of having five match officials — an extra assistant referee behind each goal — at the World Cup next summer, in a move hoped to avoid controversy such as Thierry Henry's handball in the build-up to France's crucial strike in their play-off against the Republic of Ireland.

The system has been trialled in this season's Europa League, but Hodgson has seen no evidence of a dramatic improvement in key decision making.

Indeed, the Cottagers have themselves been on the wrong end of some controversial calls — denied what looked at a couple of clear penalty claims away to CSKA Sofia while having two men sent off at Roma, with defender Stephen Kelly also seeing red in the home tie against the Italians where a last-minute away goal denied them victory.

Hodgson — whose side host Sofia tonight looking to keep alive hope of qualifying from Group E — believes simply having someone look at a replay on a monitor would be no quick fix.

“It is naive to think we would solve all of our problems with technology,” the Fulham manager declared.

“Technology is complicated, and the major question would be what would it be introduced for? How many times? How long would the stoppage be? The questions are endless.

“What happens if the person who makes the decision can't decide?

“Sometimes I see hundreds of replays, and still cannot make up my mind.”

Hodgson is not convinced the experiment of extra officials has made a great difference in the Europa League.

He said: “I don't know what type of contact they have with the referee, but I have not noticed them.”

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