Football seems to be the only major sport that does not use video technology. But all is about to change; according to the Dutch FA official Gijs de Jong, the Champions league and the Premier League will have video technology in matches within five years. De Jong believes that every mistake that the referees make strengthens the cause of the introduction of video technology.

The technology is set to be used in the not too distant future, although the International Football Association Board have delayed the trials in competitive matches, which were meant to start in February 2015, until April 2016.

The standard of refereeing has been questioned recently, after a number of high-profile mistakes were made by officials this season, which harmed the reputation of the game. These errors could have been avoided should the video technology had been used. But some still argue that controversial decisions made by referees are needed so that people could moan after the game!

There were several recent examples from the Premier League when a referee punished a wrong player: during West Bromwich Albion match with Manchester City on 21 March, referee Neil Swarbrick sent off the wrong West Brom player - Craig Dawson was punished for felling City’s Wilfried Bony, while the red card should have gone to Dawson’s team-mate Gareth McAuley. Similarly, Sunderland’s Wes Brown was shown a red card by referee Roger East for a foul on Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao on February 28th. However, later replays appeared to show Brown’s team-mate John O’ Shea was the one who impeded Falcao.

And last night the England women under 19s football team had to be recalled on a pitch, for just 18 seconds, five days after the original game with Norway, as their penalty goal was wrongly disallowed on Saturday by the German referee Marija Kurtes. Upon examination of records, there was the order by Uefa to reply the final 18 seconds of the game, from the time of the controversial penalty.

This, and similar misjudgements by referees, will be avoided in the future with a help of video technology.

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