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Enock did us proud, GLT works

In my last blog I devoted the entire page to Enock Molefe from Bloemfontein, who was invited to run the line in the England v Scotland game at Wembley on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 - a day he will remember for the rest of his life.

The occasion was the 150th anniversary of the English FA and is reputed to be the oldest football fixture in the world.

It is no surprise then that the FA would want the very best match officials to grace the occasion and Enock certainly fits into that category.

It’s now a week since that very auspicious event and Enock didn’t let us down. Well, we knew he wouldn’t, didn’t we?

He is a very experienced assistant referee and he did us all proud. One only has to look at his list of achievements (mentioned in the previous blog) and it’s easy to see why he was selected.

He is an inspiration to all up-and-coming match officials, whether in the middle or on the line. I hope, when he retires, that he won’t be lost to the game and that he will continue giving us the benefit of his wealth of experience to “new kids on the block”.

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GLT – does it work?

After all the drama of will it or won’t it, will we or won’t we, should we or shouldn’t we, surrounding the issue of Goal Line Technology (GLT) it was finally born last Saturday in the BPL.

Remember that date – 17 August 2013. That’s when there was a seismic shift of monumental proportions within the hierarchy of Fifa. They finally decided to embrace technology.

The arguments for its introduction, and the counter argument that the status quo should remain, had been going on for years.

Sep Blatter, the Fifa president, was definitely not in favour of it. His argument was that the game is run, played and officiated by humans and, for all their frailties, it should be left to humans to make the decisions.

The counter argument is that football is no longer a game but a business and a very lucrative, and in some cases, expensive business. It is too big, lucrative and expensive to be left to humans to control and make decisions.

They are, or course, talking about referees and their assistants.

They’re the ones making the decisions.

They’re the ones “crucifying” teams.

They are the ones who are responsible for teams winning leagues and cups and also for getting teams relegated.

Well after all the hoo-ha, it finally came into being and was used twice over the weekend; once in the Liverpool v Stoke game and once in the Chelsea v Hull game.

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Now you can ask, why wasn’t it used before?

I don’t know, nor do I care. It will certainly take a lot of pressure off the shoulders of referees, especially where goal line incidents are concerned.

The only problem is – how much further will the “soccer politicians” want technology to go. Will we also have penalty incidents reviewed? Will be have incidents behind the referee’s back brought into the equation, although that is already in operation.

All in all, and while I was initially against the idea, I have been won over. Anything that will make the referee’s job a little easier and less stressful is surely a good thing.

Happy Whistling
Dr Errol Sweeney
Twitter: @dr_errol

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