Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged The Football Association to introduce the video replay technology in the Barclays Premier League so that the accuracy of referees’ decisions could be improved.
Last weekend, Chelsea’s two offside goals were wrongfully allowed to stand and then Manchester United were denied a clear penalty kick in their midweek loss to Wigan Athletic. The increasing number of dodgy decisions has led to widespread calls of the introduction of video technology and Wenger has thrown his support behind the idea.
The Frenchman says that the time has finally come to ease the referees’ jobs by equipping them with visual assistance. Earlier today, he said: “Last weekend was a very, very bad weekend. The football authorities on a global scale have to sit together and see how we can improve. There are some immediate decisions to make but as well it is time for us to help the referees. To all be united and have a less conservative approach and finally opt for video.
“Video will help the referees, not question their authority. It will give them more credit, more authority and less mistakes. [We need] instant video replays on the demand of the referee.”
FIFA hasn’t warmed to the idea yet, as their president Sepp Blatter and his fellow policy makers feel that video technology would interrupt the flow of the beautiful game, but Wenger disagrees.
He continued: “It would not stop the game. It would sometimes give a bigger flow to the game. Why? Because if I am a linesman and an offside decision is a 50-50 I’m tempted to stop the game. If I know I have a video behind me I am tempted to let it go if I’m convinced it is a real 50-50 and you could improve the flow of the game and check after.
“Football is the first sport in the world today but we have to accept we have the most conservative approach to the game than any other sport. It can be a strength but on the refereeing side I think it is a weakness.”
The Gunners boss also advised the FA to increase the number of match officials that are assigned to the Premier League. “I don’t think referees are bad. I just think the game is so quick. It is impossible for a human being to see everything no matter how good you are. Out of 100 situations [with instant videos] you would be less wrong than you would be today because you would have help,” he added.
Meanwhile, injured Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere’s hopes of returning before the end of the season and taking part in this summer’s European Championships are fading fast. The 20-year-old had picked up a serious ankle injury before the start of the 2011/12 season and after suffering several injury setbacks, Wenger has admitted that the England international’s morale is low these days.
When asked if he believes that Wilshere’s chances of returning to the playing field are diminishing, Wenger replied: “You’re not far off. We are now in mid April, the Euros start in the middle of June. Jack has not played the whole season and anyone who knows what is required at the top level, in terms of intensity, it’s getting short now. He has not joined the first team. He is still in the gym and running.”