90% of football fans want video refs

London - Almost 90% of football fans in England want video technology brought into the game to aid officials, according to results of a survey announced today. The survey, conducted website WheresTheMatch.com, comes in the wake of a series of officiating blunders this season, most notably in September's match between Watford and Reading at Vicarage Road. On that occasion referee Stuart Attwell awarded Reading a 13th-minute goal even though the ball clearly hadn’t crossed the goal line, leaving then Watford boss Aidrian Boothroyd (pictured) apopleptic with rage. Only 19% of the fans surveyed felt the implementation of video technology would slow the game, while 64% were worried that football was being left in the wake of other sports more willing to embrace new technology. These concerns were echoed by Boothroyd in the wake of the incident at Vicarage Road. "I’m an advocate of goalline technology," the former Watford boss rather understandably said. 

“It doesn’t have to stop the game for too long. If sports like cricket and rugby can take it on, then I think that we should.”

His comments were echoed by Wes Lewis, co-founder of WheresTheMatch.com (a rather handy little site, if you ask us, which tells you which channel's showing which games on any given night).  “Football is running the risk of being left behind technologically. Many team sports use a TMO (Television Match Official), including rugby union and league, with many supporters arguing that it adds to the tension and ensures informed decisions are made that could have otherwise affected the outcome of the game.

“Reading's recent ‘goal that never was’ against Watford proves that the current football system of the referee relying on his assistants for advice does not always mean that justice is served.

“Sports with far less money than football, such as rugby league use TMOs to great effect. It is important to remember that TMOs are not there to slow down play but ensure that both teams have a fair chance at winning.

“How many goals have been scored by players in offside positions? Recently, Dimitar Berbatov scored two goals for Manchester United against Celtic in the Champions League, both of which were found to be scored from an offside position upon inspection. If the goals would have gone to the big screen, they would not have been allowed."