Technology needed after Marriner mistake

1:32pm Tuesday 25th March 2014

SUGGESTIONS from BBC pundit Peter Schmeichel that referee Andre Marriner should be banned for his red card gaffe are ludicrous.

In case you missed it, Marriner sent off Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs for a deliberate handball against Chelsea when it was quite clearly Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who committed the offence.

Even Oxlade-Chamberlain himself appeared to admit his guilt to the official following the incident at Stamford Bridge but Marriner chose not to reverse his decision.

It was a blunder of the highest order but just that, a blunder.

In calling for a ban, Schmeichel has missed the point entirely.

Rather than castigating Marriner further and making referees fearful of their future actions, he should be advocating the introduction of video technology to help officials.

For whatever reason, the 43-year-old failed to spot that it was Oxlade-Chamberlain who tipped Eden Hazard's shot past the post.

Television replays proved the case of mistaken identity instantly and photographic stills have also been released showing Oxlade-Chamberlain at full stretch.

But, unlike managers or media pundits, Marriner did not have access to any of those. Even Match of the Day commentator Steve Wilson needed a second look.

So, no matter how obvious the call appeared to be, Marriner was unable to check a replay to make sure. Nobody would slate him for double-checking. If he had, there would be no debate.

That he opted not to change his mind on Oxlade-Chamberlain's admission is worrying but maybe that says more about the lack of trust referee's have in players not to work situations to their advantage.

But until referees are allowed access to same replays as the rest of us, errors will continue and so will the scrutiny.

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