Belfast Telegraph

The Punter: Reading's video nasty goal sells us short

Football was badly exposed at Watford as living in an arcane world with its determination not to take advantage of technology to solve disputes.

Other sports can do it and believe it or not, it actually works and prevents the sport being held up to ridicule.

But then football knows better and is above such matters and hence the reason why we get a goal being awarded when the ball never entered the net nor looked like doing so.

And thus Reading were given a phantom goal at Vicarage Road courtesy of an assistant referee who was clearly in another universe.

The referee didn’t come out of it too well either as he agreed with his ‘blind’ official on the line.

And there we were all thinking that the 1966 England World Cup goal that never was, was controversial.

It had nothing on the goings on at the weekend.

One can understand the football authorities allowing the 2-2 result to stand under the laws of the game — Irish FA should take note after they overturned the result of a Boys’ FA match due to a refereeing mistake.

But from a betting point of view, Paddy Power have agreed to pay out on those who backed Watford in single bets with the draw unaffected.

However, it was interesting to note that it did not include doubles, trebles or accumulators while the chance of punters backing the Hornets in a single only, was probably slim.

Watford were available at 9-5, so the firm’s commitments is likely to be peanuts.

Paddy Power, said: “Reading’s goal that never was left backers of the Hornets stung by the injustice and incompetence of the linesman. Punters don’t deserve to miss out on what should have been a Watford win because of one of the worst decisions in the history of football.”

But what about those who have missed out in ‘Accas?’

If someone has a nice accumulator with Watford as winners, are they in the words of the company, not being treated unfairly?

Power are now betting on whether the FA will be moved to embrace technology to eradicate such problems, making it 8-1 that a goal line camera is installed next season.

It is 250-1 that they widen the goals in the hope that shots going three feet wide at present, find the back of the net.

I wouldn’t bet on either proposition.

Goal Line Specials: 8-1 FA to introduce goal line cameras for the 2009/10 season.

33-1 FA to introduce goal line judges for the 2009/10 season.

250-1 FA to widen goals for the 2009/10 season.

250-1 FA to introduce ice-hockey style sirens on top of cross bars for the 2009/10 season.

Wenbo’s win to be looked into

Liang Wenbo’s Belfast win over Peter Ebdon is being investigatedAN investigation has been launched into alleged betting patterns in a snooker match during the Northern Ireland Trophy at the Waterfront Hall last month.

It centres on the match between Peter Ebdon and Liang Wenbo who was backed in from 11-10 to 4-9 prior to the start of the game.

Wenbo won the match 5-0 and it seems there were a number of requests with several firms for a Wenbo whitewash.

William Hill, Ladbrokes and Stan James reported plenty of business before suspending betting on the second round match.

Some firms contacted the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, the sport’s governing body, after the result.

A spokesman for the WPBSA said, “We are aware that there was some interest in the match. However, having considered the matter and followed the proper procedures, including consultation with the Association and the Gambling Commission, we are satisfied the action taken is appropriate.”

Attempts have been made to have memorandums of understanding between bookmakers and the governing bodies of sport in the UK under the new Gambling Commission recommendations.

In the past, two players have been banned by the WPBSA following match-fixing investigations.

In 1995, Peter Franciso was suspended for five years and in 2003, Quinten Hann was banned for eight years.

Europe to lord it at Manor?

The USA were deserving winners of the Ryder cup but the layers make Europe favourites to regain the trophy at Celtic Manor in Wales.

And the fact that it’s in the principality, must make Ian Woosnam a decent bet at 8-1 to take over the captaincy from Nick Faldo who came in for some very unfair criticism about the European defeat.

The reason for that defeat was the disappointing efforts of big-named players Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia while the Yankee rookies had a ball.

Europe had been hotly tipped by all and sundry and were backed accordingly and saved the ‘books’ a fortune, especially Paddy Power who went 11-10 on Europe when everyone else was odds-on.

Garcia was well supported to be Europe’s top scorer but this went to Faldo’s successful ‘wild card’ Ian Poulter who fully justified Nick’s notion and landed one punter a nice touch at 12-1 to 300 euros.

Power’s have Europe installed at 5-6 for 2010 with America 6-5 and the tie at 10-1. But there is a lot of water to pass under the bridge before then and best to keep the powder dry.

Belfast Telegraph


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