Techno-free World Cup a disgrace: ID

30 June 2010 - 14:51 By Sapa

It was a "disgrace" that the world football body Fifa was not using video technology to assist referees officiating during World Cup games, the Independent Democrats said.

“Frankly, it is a disgrace that Fifa continues to languish in the 1800s because of the views of one man, Sepp Blatter. It is also grossly unfair to blame the referees for human errors that could have happened to anyone,” said Joe Mcgluwa, the party’s spokesman on sport.

He was referring to refereeing mistakes in games that saw Mexico and England being eliminated from the World Cup. England was denied a goal during a game with Germany while Mexico lost to Argentina in a match in which the referee allowed an Argentinian goal although the striker was offside.

GALLERY: Controversial referee decisions

These errors caused an outcry, with many people calling for the introduction of video replays to eliminate human errors.

“Fortunately Argentina and Germany went on to beat Mexico and England so convincingly that their positions in the quarterfinals are not in question.

“If this had not been the case, the lack of video support for the refs involved would have left an even sourer taste in everyone’s mouths,” Mcgluwa said.

He laughed off Fifa president Blatter’s apology to the two teams involved, saying the apology “comes too late”.

Blatter apologised to the two teams on Tuesday and said Fifa would hold discussions on “goal-line technology” to rule out most mistakes.

“Sepp Blatter and no-one else is to blame. No amount of apologies to the teams, actions against the two referees, or spin that Fifa is suddenly interested in taking another look at introducing video technology is going to change that.

“As the largest sporting event on earth, the World Cup should also be the most advanced in terms of technological assistance to referees that could rule out most mistakes,” Mcgluwa said.