Super Mario or Evil Wario?

Balotelli’s stamp again highlights the need for video technology

Super Mario or Evil Wario?

We’ve talked about video technology a lot on this site recently, but it’s almost getting to a stage where not a week goes by without a major incident highlighting the flaws of the modern day game.  The rules are simply outdated and FIFA and the FA are archaic institutions who do not know how to move with the times.

Yesterday’s game between Manchester City and Tottenham was a great spectacle between two genuine title contenders.  If Jermaine Defoe’s foot was an inch longer we’d probably all be praising Spurs today and the media would be talking up their title challenge even more.

Instead we are left with a sour taste in our mouths due to the antics of “mad” Mario Balotelli and the inefficiencies of the premier league disciplinary system .  Tonight the Italian has been charged with violent conduct after appearing to stamp on Scott Parker.  Following a dismissal earlier this season Balotelli, 21, faces a four-match ban.

The truth of the matter is that only Balotelli will know if he meant to hurt Parker, but I think it’s safe to say that his right leg moved away from its natural trajectory.  Howard Webb had what appeared to be a clear view of the incident and took no action, but it’s also a fair assumption that at full speed it could have been missed by the human eye.

The frustrating thing yet again is that within 30 seconds, the world watching at home had seen numerous replays of the incident.

Should he have been on the pitch?

Why isn’t the fourth official able to see these?  If the fourth official saw the replay and felt that any further action was to be taken, he could communicate that to the referee straight away.  Mario Balotelli may well have then been sent off, meaning that he wouldn’t have been on the pitch to score the winning penalty – which means the outcome is fair on Tottenham Hotspur.

As it was yesterday, because this technology wasn’t available  Tottenham end up losing the game which come the end of the season could cost them a place in the Champions League.

I really think that nowadays, all incidents should be resolved on the match day and there should be none of this retrospective punishment nonsense.

Howard Webb would have been consulted today, and as the FA have now charged Balotelli – the referee must have concluded that the incident constituted violent conduct.  Surely he could have come to that conclusion in the time it took for Scott Parker to recieve treatment?

Football has to move on like every other major sport has in the 21st century.  Tennis, Rugby, Cricket have all implemented technology to help the officials make major decisions.  Has that made those sports any less enjoyable?

No, is the simple answer.