FIFA president Sepp Blatter recently admitted that the organization could possibly go with younger referees in future World Cups. Blatter claimed that he hopes a “rejuvenation” process is experienced sometime this fall regarding the highly questioned FIFA position.
And this summer’s World Cup will be remembered by plenty of poor calls made by officials and Blatter and the FIFA board are currently also debating whether or not to install instant replay into the game of football, but that debate will not be brought up officially until the next FIFA board meeting in October.
But Blatter apparently believes that age has something to do with the poor decisions made by the refs this summer and the board could potentially rule out anyone over the age of forty as a ref for future Cups.
And to be honest I don’t really agree with this conclusion made by the FIFA president.
The organization already has a rule that refs cannot be above the age of 45 and lowering it any more then that doesn’t really guarantee an improvement in any form. Sure the two worst calls made this World Cup (Lampard’s no goal and Tevez’s offsides goal) were made by men in their early forties and sure the final three matches were all officiated by men that were in their thirties, but claiming that age is the reason why these calls were blown is completely ridiculous.
I don’t think a younger ref holds much of an edge over his older counterpart. Although you can claim (like Sir Alex did last year) that the game is too fast for an old ref and if they are not in peak condition then they can slow down the game and affect the outcome, but I think if you add instant replay to soccer then none of these terrible calls really ending up mattering.
The truth is that FIFA once again is seriously weighing every option, but the obvious one. If the ref was younger maybe he would have been in better position and maybe he would have seen Lampard’s ball cross the goal line, but in reality we all know that if they had better goal line technology then none of this would even be debated.
Younger refs may actually help the game, but they certainly will not guarantee that every call was made correctly.
And FIFA needs to install a system that does exactly that.
photo credit: foundphotoslj