Hodgson sounds cautious note on use of extra match officials

Fulham manager also warns over putting too much faith in video technology

The Fulham manager Roy Hodgson feels it would be "naive" to believe all of football's problems could be solved with the introduction of video technology or extra referees.

Uefa president Michel Platini's plan of having five match officials – an extra assistant referee behind each goal – has been trialled in this season's Europa League, but Hodgson has seen no evidence of a dramatic improvement in key decision making.

Fifa yesterday decided against introducing it for the World Cup but are to explore the issue further. Hodgson and Fulham have been on the wrong end of some controversial calls in this season's competition – they were denied what looked to be a couple of clear penalty claims away to CSKA Sofia and had two men sent off at Roma, with defender Stephen Kelly also dismissed in the home tie against the Italian club where a last-minute away goal denied them victory.

Hodgson, whose side host Sofia tonight looking to keep alive hope of qualifying from Group E, believes simply having someone look at a replay on a monitor would be no quick fix. "It is naive to think we would solve all of our problems with technology," the Fulham manager declared. "Technology is complicated, and the major question would be: what would it be introduced for? How many times? How long would the stoppage be? The questions are endless.

"What happens if the person who makes the decision can't decide? Sometimes I see hundreds of replays, and still cannot make up my mind. In cricket, they were trying to decide whether the ball had been grounded while trying to take a catch. It took 12 minutes and still nobody was the wiser."

Hodgson is not convinced the experiment of extra officials has made a great difference in the Europa League. He said: "I don't know what type of contact they have with the referee, but I have not noticed them. In the very, very important penalty area situations which have occurred, and there are four very clear ones where you think that extra officials could help the referee make a good decision, bad decisions have been made. Whether there has been communication and the referee has chosen to ignore it, or whether the people behind the goal have not seen it, I really can't tell.

Hodgson added: "If you are asking me from your personal experience, have you seen better decisions in penalty areas thanks to extra referees, I would say no I haven't."

The Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy is set to return tonight following a six-week absence with a knee problem. It is a welcome boost for the west London side, who have Erik Nevland, Paul Konchesky and Jonathan Greening all suspended, while Eddie Johnson, Seol Ki-hyeon and Kagisho Dikgacoi are not eligible.

"Danny Murphy will start, and it would be nice if he could play the full 90 minutes, but we are realistic," said Hodgson. "It is a long while since he has played. We might have to accept it does not work out for us over 90 minutes, but that is the plan."

Fulham are currently third in the group, with five points from four matches. However, victory over the Bulgarian side and then away to Basle could still take them through to the next stage.

Hodgson said: "We have certainly not given up hope, albeit in situations where a risk has to be taken with a player, we make no bones that we have always erred on the side of the Premier League.

"Having said that, it has not cost us too much so far and we are still in with a shout of qualifying."

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
Arts and Entertainment
Catherine (Sarah Lancashire) in Happy Valley ((C) Red Productions/Ben Blackall)
TV
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?