Chelsea-Barça shows the need for video replay in UEFA competitions


I’ve purposely held this story for a few days in order to let inflamed passions simmer down. As many of you (I hope) are aware, FC Barcelona beat Chelsea FC last week in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals; Barça now goes on to face Manchester United FC in the final in Rome. What concerns us here at CrunchGear is the use of technology in the game of European football (soccer), specifically the use of instant video replay by referees.

Guus Hiddink, Chelsea’s caretaker manager, came out at the weekend in favor of video replay in games. It’d work like it does in the NFL: a coach wants to challenge a play or ref’s decision, ok, but you only have a finite number of challenges; the exact number would be up to UEFA, all-powerful, all-knowing.

What I’d like to know is, why not? What’s the big deal with allowing a short break in the action—it’s not like the game doesn’t stop when substitutions are made, right?—if it leads to the correct calls being made? (I think Chelsea only had one penalty, and that was the Piqué handball; this can be debated in your local pub till the sun runs out of hydrogen, however.)

I think it’s time UEFA get with the program and embrace the video replay, to say nothing of goal line technology (that would determine if the ball went over the line or not). But Newcastle probably has a better chance of staying up than UEFA ever doing anything helpful, I’m afraid.