KUCHING: Competitive sports especially football still needs the human touch when it comes to refereing and judgement-based decision making during the game.
“I don’t think football will be exciting if we use technologies such as goal-line detection and video replays to replace referees. The game might even gets too rigid and very boring,” said state assistant minister of social development (youth development) Abdul Karim Hamzah in his speech at the Sarawak Football Referee’s Association (SAFRA) annual dinner.
Abdul Karim added that decisions made by referees are still very much needed in the game and he sees that it is very difficult for technology to ever phase them out.
“Football must always retain the “human” aspect of refereing the game to preserve its essence. I remember when Diego Maradona scored the “hand of God” goal against England during the World Cup in 1986 where the referee during that time seemed to have made the wrong decision. However, it was a memorable game and it remained as a debate until today. That is what makes football a beautiful game,” enthused Abdul Karim.
“If we enforced technology, perhaps the game would be different. The players might not feel free to “express” themselves in the pitch during a match due to very strict authority,” added Abdul Karim.
Karim also praised the contribution made by SAFRA in elevating the standard of football refereing in the state as matches are getting more competitive. “SAFRA must ensure its members are always at the very high level of integrity. Referees deal with people so the human aspect of the game is important. They must also constantly updating themselves of the laws of the game,” said Abdul Karim.