A Call for Non-Calls

I started going off on a tangent while writing a comment on Soccer by Ives post about the FIFA decision to not award Ireland a 33rd spot in the upcoming World Cup. I am going to post it here word for word - and maybe I'll expound on it later.

OK - bad calls and non calls are part of the game. Cheating happens at some level in every game, whether it is shirt pulling or time wasting.... it is up to the ref to call it. This time the ref didn't call it.

The real call here is to improve the officiating, or enhance it. I think an in-game review procedure should be in place leveraging review methods from other sports. Use a model similar to hockey where the goals can be reviewed, use tennis' hawkeye to validate the ball crosses the goal line into the net. Award one "NFL" challenge per side per half to contest a "reviewable" decision (goals, goals scored bu unfair advantage (player in an offside position, hand balls would fall into this category), infringement, any change in possession awarded by corner kicks or throw-ins). Fouls, bookings, ejections, and offside calls would not be reviewable.

I can go on and on - but the point is there is precedent in many other sports that is accepted the world over for in game replay. There is NO reason not to incorporate it into the game at some level. To those that say it would hold up the game - I'd say not any more than arguing with the referees' do. Look at Tennis - it takes 25 seconds at the most to review whether a ball is in or out. A hand ball might take a bit longer to sort out...but no longer than an instant replay in the NFL would take. And by limiting the number of challenges per half - the managers would be careful when to use their challenge.

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