Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Celtic boss Mowbray cautious about Europa changes

Tony Mowbray is sceptical about UEFA's introduction of an extra official behind each goal for their Europa League campaign this season.

Celtic were drawn with Hamburg, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Rapid Vienna in the group stages of the competition after being dumped out of the Champions League play-offs with a 5-1 aggregate defeat by Arsenal.

If UEFA's radical changes in the way matches are officiated had been in place for Wednesday's second-leg tie at the Emirates, it may have prevented the dubious penalty awarded to Eduardo which effectively sealed Celtic's fate.

The Arsenal player has been charged by UEFA with “deceiving the referee” and could face a two-match ban.

“I don't know about five officials,” Mowbray said. “Would it work? I don't know.

“I've got visions of some guy running behind the goal, deciding he is going to go behind the left post, then sprinting 15 yards because the ball gets switched to the right post.

“If an official had been five yards away (at the Emirates) and told the referee that there was no contact and there was no penalty, then great. But I think sometimes these things just create more situations, with more people having an opinion. I personally don't think there is much wrong with the game, and it has been going 140 years or whatever.

“I can't see any reason why you can't have goalline technology because if it is over the line then it is a goal, even if the referee misses it. But you get in to grey areas. You can't have five officials at Sunday League games, they can't get enough referees at the moment.”

Meanwhile midfielder Massimo Donati is set to complete his move to Italian club Bari and Celtic will sign South Korea international Ki Sung-yong in the January transfer window.