The refereeing fraternity are circling the wagons to protect Euan Norris and Raymond Whyte following their blundering performance in the Hibs v Hearts match on Sunday.
There was no doubting that Leigh Griffiths free-kick had crossed the line- by almost a yard- but rather than focus on the incompetence of officials referee chief John Fleming decided to talk about the costs of goal line technology.
Scottish football fans know that the game is skint and can’t afford sophisticated camera systems but two months after the SFA paid for a ‘training exercise’ to La Manga for over 30 referees fans are entitled to demand that Norris and Whyte are made to explain their decisions.
Rather than explain either the poor positioning or judgement of officials Fleming diverted the discussion towards the cost of new technology.
“The SFA are in favour of goal-line technology, but FIFA bosses said in Edinburgh last week the installation of each system will cost a six-figure sum on top of any maintenance costs,” Fleming said
“That would make it prohibitive for the SPL and SFL to consider rolling out any time soon.
“Of course, goal-line technology would help, and we have four companies who have obtained a licence but would Scottish clubs invest in this technology to the detriment of youth investment? I don’t think so in the current climate.”
Fleming added: “It does not matter whether it is five millimetres or five yards if it has crossed the line, it’s a goal.
“In that regard, I can sympathise with Hibernian and Pat Fenlon. There was another incident involving Hibs earlier this season where a header crossed the line, but the assistant did not have a good enough view to make that call.
“On that occasion, the assistant was close to the goal-line, but his view was obscured by a defending and attacking player.
“The main coaching for match officials is they must be 100 per cent sure of the decision they are going to give.”
If Norris and Whte weren’t 100% sure of whether Griffiths free kick had crossed the line or not they really shouldn’t be involved in any matches for a long time to come.
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