How could the NFL improve instant playback

Why is FIFA against adding an instant replay to the game?

There is another problem with using instant reps that goes beyond breaking the flow of the game. It all stems from the nature of football that sometimes there is a lack of game breaks for some time. How is this going to cause a problem?

Let's assume the referee is allowed to use a radio link to the video referee. A long ball is played up to player X, a striker who breaks out one-on-one against the goalkeeper but may have been offside. Currently the referee (assisted by his assistant) is making an immediate decision. And when we see he's doing something wrong (once we've seen the repetition from five angles), we all moan at him.

But even if video playback were allowed, the referee would play the game Not stop to use it because if player X were on his side the referee would have just stopped a possible shot on goal anyway. He has to wait for a break in play.

So the referee lets the move go: if X scores a goal, the video can be reviewed and a goal awarded or denied. Even if it leads to a goal kick or a corner, we have a natural pause to check the repetition.

But what if X is allowed to continue playing, if the game is allowed to continue? the goalkeeper pushes the ball out; it is played around for about half a minute by the X-team players (still too close to the goal to simply end the game); and then X's teammate Y plunges into the penalty area with the ball at his feet and is viciously fouled by defender Z ... a clear offense. However, the ball continues to run into the goal.

At this point, the umpire sends a message that the original ball has been passed to X im Stood apart !

What is the poor referee (supported by modern technology) doing now?

  1. Prohibit the target for a crime that happened some time ago. (Believe me, the players groan when the referee blows a whistle Seconds to comes late.)

  2. If he doesn't allow it (as he should) what about the crime? The defense will argue, by force, that player Z should never be able to smudge Y as the game should have stopped some time ago. And imagine the wickedness of Y's team when Z is fired. Whatever decision is made does not seem right to a team.

  3. All of this becomes even more difficult when Y has a broken leg ...

This is just a simple example of offside. The same problems or worse can arise with almost any decision that needs to be reviewed by another referee using a video screen. For this reason, IFAB (the legislative body of world football) insists that any opportunity to check whether the ball has crossed the finish line must be done immediately. Goal-line technology is likely to arrive: however, I think anything like the above that only takes a short amount of time to analyze gets into major potential problems when the game needs to continue.

At least now, right or wrong, an immediate decision is made and the game is stopped or allowed to continue. Often mistakes are made, but we all have to accept that and move on with the game. Why shouldn't players accept my imaginary scenario too? Because once video technology is accepted for some decisions, players expect correct calls at all times ... and the free flowing nature of football (as opposed to cricket, rust, rugby, which are all played in short bursts of action) does not suit this technology.


There are calls that are and are not verifiable in pretty much every sport that uses instant retesting. NHL hockey now has stand ratings, and offside calls (the thing hockey is most likely to rush on) is one of the things that is still at the discretion of the umpire. Icing is also not verifiable, AFAIK (and umpires can wave the icing off if they believe a defensive player might have reached it before it crossed the goal line). Ratings are mainly used to make sure goals are legal and to assign goals and assists, review penalties, etc. Football could do the same thing.


In cases where the technology is not available, just ignore the rules that define the review process and the word of reference will be final as it was before the review. To say that instant replay shouldn't be allowed because it can't be implemented everywhere means that video rating shouldn't be allowed in the NFL, NBA, NHL, or NCAA sports because high school and adult club teams can't afford to do this.

Bart van Ingen Schenau

As a counter-argument: As a referee, X's possible offside position would be resolved at the moment when the goalkeeper saves X's shot by applying the "advantage rule". Everything after that would then be unaffected by the possible offside situation without the need for a review.