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England U17 wins 5-3 on Penalty Kicks.
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Japan's tactical prowess shines through

U-17 World Cup

Your Verdict: Video refs and Harry's back!

No sooner had new FA chief Brian Barwick been awarded the post, even before taking a seat in his comfortable Soho Square chair - he doesn't officially start until January - than he had caused controversy with his views on the use of video technology to help under-fire referees.

'It will be sheer folly not to use TV action replays in cases where there are doubts over whether the ball crossed the goal-line,' Barwick told a British newspaper, and a can of worms was flung open.

Are instant video replays, such as those used successfully in Rugby and Cricket already, the logical step forward to make sure crucial decisions are called correctly? Or would they slow down the game, undermine the referee's authority and simply not work in a sport that draws much of its appeal from the free flowing nature of the play?

Here's what some of you think:

Your Verdict:

Replays in Rugby League and American football have proven effective in resolving human error mistakes. Why not utilise the same technology to get rid of the most controversial calls made by referees?

Use it to verify suspect goals, diving and penalties. Perhaps FIFA should take some lessons learned from the other two sports to bring soccer into the 21st century with available technology.
John Zielonka

The use of TV replays for crucial decisions in top flight soccer (football!) is long over due and should be welcomed by the majority of supporters of the world game.
Robert Bradshaw

Three cheers for Mr Barwick. It is about time the boring old farts of FIFA were dismissed and technology allowed to be used for the purposes he is suggesting. Millions of pounds have been lost by clubs who would/might have achieved a place in UEFA competitions all because a referee/linesman made a bad mistake/decision.

American football games use it all the time and it does not distract from the game at all and is a great assistance to the referees. Cricket use it, Rugby League use it. So, come on boring old farts, get with the times.
Boris Roberts, Utah USA

So, some support for the idea out there. But wait, Scott McIlvennie has a few words on the subject to get off his chest:

No, no, no, no, no.

Alright then, just the one word repeated.

This beautiful game is, has and always will be about people and the skills they exhibit. It is not about being perfect or appeasing managers and TV pundits. Referees and players alike make mistakes, they are human.

This adds to the game, just as it always has. What needs to be done is to get the cheating, diving and childish antics the players exhibit out of the game, in order to reduce the number of fractious and controversial incidents we see day in and day out. Football has survived all these years without TV replays and there is no need for it now.
Scott McIlvennie, long suffering Manchester City fan

Ahmen to that, Scott.

A video referee is the most ridiculous idea to come up in football. One of the reasons why football is the most popular sport in the world is because of the flow and minimised interruptions to the game.

Introducing video referees will interrupt the flowing rhythm of football and will ultimately make the classic game too hi-tech to be properly appreciated. Also, mistakes by referees are not uncommon; however it is a part of the game and part of the passion of the game itself.

Referee mistakes are criticised but add an extra dimension to the unpredictability of the game and make football far more interesting to watch.

  • Kewell the passenger part II...

    Last week we received a lot of correspondence telling us to get off Harry Kewell's back. Wrongly accused of mindless 'Aussie bashing' we are happy to put the record straight now that Kewell has rediscovered his form. Apparently. You hate to say you told us so, but...

    Where is the article about Harry Kewell's performance this week ????

    People are quick to put players down, but when they put in a huge performance such as he did against Aston Villa there is no praise. I expect you to ignore this email anyway and will wait to put another AUSSIE down after a substandard performance later!!
    Matthew Ribarovski

    Just thought I should write to you to add that the other day Liverpool played away at Aston Villa. Did you see the game? It was a 1-1 draw. Harry scored his first goal since Feb 2004 and played a much more attacking role.

    I think you should start to praise his efforts more from now on!! Don't you??

  • The heart of the matter

    Bolton player Khalilou Fadiga had a defibrillator fitted after surgery to correct a heart problem. Despite medical advice to retire, he is still considering a future in the game. A number of people wrote in to express their concern.

    A man has free-will, and Fadiga can do what he pleases. However, at 29, I've played at various levels as a holding-midfielder and I've been hit in the chest countless times by errant crosses. That's my job, to disrupt the attack, but I don't have a "pacemaker" connected to my heart.

    He is needlessly jeopardising his life and I don't think anyone wants to see another Foe incident.

    Once diagnosed of this heart problem that has become so intense to the extent of wearing a defibrillator, FIFA and all the affiliated bodies should be able to ban such a player.

    To continue to play, is to commit suicide. Fadiga can still be useful in less energy sapping activities.
    Sanni Adekunle

  • The table never lies

    Our Team of the Week feature provoked a strong response from the blue half of Merseyside and beyond. The suggestion that Everton had no place mixing it with the big boys was less than fair on David Moyes' men who have proved the pre-season doom sayers wrong in some style.

    Most of the emails on this topic, whilst welcome, are unprintable but the ones we can use will give you a flavour. You can consider us well and truly told.

    I read your Team of the Week line-up with utter disgust!

    It's ridiculous how you slam Everton about them not "being good enough". No team gets to third by sheer luck. They got there through grit and determination in getting results.

    The team have played well this season and have fought for every single point. The Bolton game is a classic example of how they did not let their heads down when perhaps some expected them to.

    Come on, give credit where it is due and stop sliming Everton just because the table is not in your preferred pecking order.

    Just my thoughts...

    Always happy to hear them Edward.

    So, Alex Sharratt is still shocked and insulted by Everton's league position is he?

    Worried that one of his pet teams may miss out on a Champions League spot? How dare Everton (who, incidentally, have won more championships than Newcastle, Spurs and Chelsea combined) try to win games and, what's more, succeed!

    Everton were winning championships and cups before you were born and they'll be winning them again soon. The game wasn't invented by Sky Sports and was, incredibly, played a century before the creation of the Premier League!!!
    David Hughes, Melbourne, Australia

  • And finally, the world's worst football team?

    Read Uli Hesse-Lichtenberger's article about the worst teams in European football. A very interesting topic!

    Here in Sweden we have a good candidate for such a prize! In 1946-47 a team called Billingsfors (from a small village in the forests of nowhere between Gothenburg and Oslo) who played one season in the Swedish top flight. Their record was: 22 games - 0 victories, 3 draws and 19 defeats and a goal difference of 28-84!

    The Swedish league may not in any case be compared to one of the biggest leagues in Europe but it is still some record.
    Joel Wennerberg, Stockholm, Sweden

    So Billingsfors are the worst ever top-flight side in Europe. Or are they? If you can do better than Joel - or should that be worse? - drop us a line and let us know.

  • Have your say on any of today's news.Email the newsdesk