FOOTBALL : Players’ chief Gordon Taylor has called for the introduction of video replays after the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup dreams were shattered by a goal that should never have been given.
Players’ chief Gordon Taylor has called for the introduction of video replays after the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup dreams were shattered by a goal that should never have been given.
Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, said the stakes are now too high to allow such expensive errors. Ireland were knocked out after Thierry Henry clearly handled the ball twice before crossing for William Gallas to head home and send France to South Africa thanks to a 2-1 aggregate win.
“The time has now come to start using video technology to make sure we get the right decision,” he said. “For a sport that is so high profile, with so much money and so much prestige at stake, it has to be used.”
He added: “You can bring in as many assistant referees behind the goals as you like but, until there is technology, there will continue to be debatable decisions.
“Rugby, tennis, cricket and American sports have all embraced technology and it can actually add to the excitement of a match. I think not to use it is burying one’s head in sand.”
Taylor said television replays had showed France’s equalising goal could also have been ruled out for offside.
He added: “I’m not going to condemn Thierry Henry, who has made a great contribution to football and has actually admitted it was handball – that’s not the point.
“We have to get the decisions right.
“It’s just so disappointing for the Irish to have played so well in such difficult circumstances. No player minds losing legitimately – but to lose that way makes my heart go out to them.
“For a game that wants to be at the forefront as a spectator and participant sport, I’m just surprised it has taken so long, particularly now the game is faster than it’s ever been.”