x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Video evidence undermines referees, says West Brom's Hodgson

After his defender Gabriel Tamas was banned for three games, the West Bromwich Albion manager speaks out.

Roy Hodgson, the West Bromwich Albion manager, believes retrospective punishment of players via video evidence is increasing pressure on referees and eroding their authority.

His observation follows the three-match ban handed to Gabriel Tamas, the West Brom defender.

Tamas was charged with violent conduct after he appeared to strike the Norwich City forward James Vaughan in West Brom's victory at Carrow Road last Sunday.

The incident was not seen by the referee Mark Halsey but adjudicated upon by the English Football Association after the match.

The Romanian, 27, was subsequently charged with violent conduct and suspended.

Hodgson, who believes the clash looked bad but was accidental, believes the use of video evidence to essentially correct decisions made in a match weakens the position of referees.

"It's hard enough to be a referee anyway with all of the things that go on in the game of football and all of the decisions that you have to make in a split second, if afterwards, people are going to confront you with loads of things on video that happened in the game that you may or may not have seen," Hodgson said. "It's trial by video evidence isn't it? It just opens up the door for an endless stream, really.

"It will raise to some extent questions, sometimes, about delegates and assessors. Such as, are they local people seeing things with local eyes, or are they as neutral as we hope the referees will be?"

In this instance, Hodgson believes Halsey performed his on-field duties well, and it would be unfair to accuse him of missing an incident that happened off the ball and outside his field of vision.

West Brom travel to Swansea City today, with the home side still looking for their first Premier League goal after drawing a blank in their first four matches since promotion.

They also have injury problems in defence. Garry Monk, the captain, is set to make his first appearance of the season after sitting out the first four games of the campaign due to numbness in his foot.

Monk and Ashley Williams are manager Brendan Rodgers's only available centre-halves. Alan Tate (broken leg) and Steven Caulker (knee) are out and Swansea cannot field deadline-day signings Darnel Situ and Rafik Halliche after Fifa denied international clearance for the moves due to delays in processing the transfers.

6pm, Abu Dhabi Sports 7