LONDON (Reuters) – Video technology should be introduced to English football to help referees avoid errors after West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley was sent off in a case of mistaken identity on Saturday, referees’ chief, Mike Riley said.
McAuley was shown the red card after 90 seconds against Manchester City when referee Neil Swarbrick failed to identify Craig Dawson as the culprit in bringing down Wilfried Bony when he was through on goal.
Manchester City went on to win the game 3-0.
“We need to see what technology we can use to help get referees’ decisions more accurate,” Riley, head of the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL), told BBC radio. “Football as a whole has to look at it.”
“Neil had four or five elements to judge in half a second and it is that type of situation that would lend itself to technology.”
Riley said that he had spoken to Swarbrick after Saturday’s match at the Etihad Stadium.
“All referees want to make correct decisions and when you don’t do that, you feel you’ve let yourself and your colleagues down,” he said.
“We need to make sure the next time Neil referees, he has learned from the experience and will be a better referee because of it.”
Sunderland defender Wes Brown had his red card against Manchester United rescinded earlier this month after referee Roger East dismissed him for a foul on Radamel Falcao despite replays suggesting team mate John O’Shea committed the offence.
Riley said he had been to the Netherlands with PGMOL performance director and former Premier League referee Howard Webb to study the Dutch Football Association’s (KNVB) policy of using replays to aid referee’s decision making via a headset.
“Technology doesn’t provide a solution to everything but we can all think of cases where a quick reference to a video replay would help us get the decision right,” he added.
Frustrated West Brom manager Tony Pulis also called for video technology to be introduced after his side’s defeat.
“In the modern world today refereeing is a tough job,” Pulis told BBC Sport.
“If we can help them with a 30-second call-back option, say two times in a game, it would stop us talking about the referees and more about the game itself.”