Sports Letters: Whistlers turn to whining

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The Independent Online
Sir: How depressing and predictable that referees should whine about their powerlessness to disallow that Arsenal "goal". Everyone knew the goal should not have been allowed and the referee should have used some initiative and common sense and ruled it out. I would have thought that unwritten rules could be enforced using unwritten powers. Any referee with a real feeling for the game would have used them.

Failing that, the referee as the sole arbiter of fact could have ruled the throw-in a foul, or the scorer offside, or deemed that the ball never crossed the line. In fact I am surprised that this solution didn't occur to him, as referees seem quite happy to defy objective reality on other occasions.

Replaying the game is preferable to allowing the result to stand, but it would have been a lot better if the referee, players, and management had done their duty and sorted things out at the time.