Wednesday 26 July 2017

John Giles: When football introduces the TMO, we must make sure we don't make the same mistake as rugby

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3 October 2015; Referee Romain Poite watches the replay of Australia's second try after it went to the TMO. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Pool A, England v Australia, Twickenham Stadium, London, England. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
3 October 2015; Referee Romain Poite watches the replay of Australia's second try after it went to the TMO. 2015 Rugby World Cup, Pool A, England v Australia, Twickenham Stadium, London, England. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
John Giles

John Giles

I was more than delighted to hear that the English FA has finally decided to bite the bullet and bring in touchline technology to help referees. It has been successful trialled in Germany and next season, we will see TMOs in action for Cup games.

It’s ironic in a way that the competitions which have been treated with such disrespect are being used as guinea pigs for technology which has been viewed with such stupid suspicion for so long.

I know it will work well. I know it will remove many of the flashpoints which cause so much controversy. It will make Cup games better.

I would note, however, that there has been a steady drift in rugby away from referees making strong, quick decisions to relying increasingly on the video replays.

I’ve noticed longer and longer intervals between foul play and the incident being picked up by the TMO but this is usually connected with high tackles and I know there has been a particular focus on that this season.

However, we must be careful. Over-use would give those opposed to the technology the ammunition they need and ruin the game.

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