After being the centre of attention after another match, and for all the wrong reasons, Chris Foy’s performance in the Spurs v Stoke game has prompted Spurs manager Harry Redknapp to not only use a few choice words about Foy, but also to make a radical suggestion of having two referees in each game.
The first and most obvious question about this would be where would the referees be allowed to go and who should have precedent should a decision need to be made and a disagreement ensue. Assumingly, one referee would go in each half, and be able to solely focus on one half, theoretically improving their performance with less to focus on and draw away their attention.
The issue of a disagreement is still one that prevails, and what about if the ball or foul is in the middle of the park? Not only this, but the issue of human error will still exist, and two referees could still make a mistake just the same as one alone can.
Whilst the idea itself may initially produce ridicule, Redknapp is at least trying to offer suggestions to a problem that seems to be in the media and the game constantly, every weekend without fail. In Europe there have been the introduction of extra officials on the touchline and this has seemingly produced some improvements, yet the idea of having two referees still seems to be a radical one – but perhaps a radical change is what is needed.
It is arguable how much difference this would actually make, as human error can still be committed, and there would not be two referees in each half, just one – therefore still leaving one official alone to make the decision they would probably have made irrespective of the other referee at the other end of the field.
The real solution here is one that has been suggested time and time again, and the only thing that can really improve standards and eradicate human error is that of technology.
At the very least goal line technology has to be introduced, yet the reluctance from governing bodies to introduce this begs the question of how long mistakes from referees can be allowed to go on, not to mention the pressure on them when there is a solution that could help solve both of these problems.
Yes, even with technology some decisions would still be open to interpretation and may promote disagreements, but it would surely reduce the pressure on officials and with the game now played at such a quick and intricate pace, give them a second look and time to rethink a decision?
Two referees would not allow this to happen, and it is arguable how much of a difference they would actually make, yet the suggestion from Redknapp shows just how desperate and fed up managers are getting with officials costing them games and vital points time and time again, when there is a readymade solution out there already – the only question is why will FIFA not introduce it?