UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona—Time to Re-Open Replay Debate?
Jose Mourinho was irate following Real Madrid's 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat to Barcelona.
He wasn't mad that Lionel Messi ran circles around his defense en route to a brace to all but knock Los Blancos off Europe's biggest stage, but for a series of fouls assessed to his own team that left them shorthanded both during Wednesday's tilt and missing a few key components—Pepe and Sergio Ramos—in the return leg at the Camp Nou.
Mourinho's tirade opened up a debate that has been sizzling hot since last summer's World Cup that featured a laundry list of reasons for officiating discontent: Is it time for football to embrace instant replay like most major sports already have?
Purists balk at the thought of utilizing replay, but replays themselves have shown that it could benefit the sport.
Mourinho's anger stemmed from a handful of calls, but the one that incensed him the most was when Pepe was shown a straight red card on a questionable tackle in what was then a 0-0 game. Replays were inconclusive—some made it look like Pepe barely made contact with Barcelona's Dani Alves and others looked like he clipped his leg accidentally.
Other calls (or non calls) in recent years have had much greater consequences than Pepe's sendoff:
- France made it into last summer's World Cup on an extra-time goal in a playoff against Ireland when he controlled the ball with his hand twice on the same play.
- England's Frank Lampard has a goal disallowed in the World Cup semifinals against Germany that clearly crossed the line.
- The United States had a disallowed goal against Slovenia that cost the Yanks two points and could have potentially left them out of the knockout stage.
These are just a few that have drawn the ire of managers and fans alike. So again, we ask, is it time for re-open the replay debate?
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