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By ESPN Staff

Fergie claims help for referees is long overdue

Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed "the time is now'' for some kind of additional assistance to be given to referees.

Ferguson was at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday as Arsenal eased their way into the Champions League group stage by overcoming Celtic.

Yet the Gunners' victory was overshadowed by the antics of Croatian striker Eduardo, who appeared to throw himself to the ground in winning a penalty which he converted.

Although Spanish referee Manuel Gonzalez was duped at the time, TV replays proved Eduardo had not been touched by Artur Boruc.

The player seems likely to be punished by UEFA - but in such obvious cases of misjudgement it seems wrong ridiculous not to use some kind of assistance.

Video technology is widely touted as the answer in such situations because it has already been used to great effect in both codes of rugby and cricket.

However, UEFA president Michel Platini is keen to bring in extra officials, who would be stationed behind the goal, to provide an additional opinion in contentious situations.

"For the last decade there has just been talk. Nothing has been done,'' said Ferguson. "The time is now.

"Michel Platini has his own views about bringing in extra human assistance with additional referees and assistants but most people in the game think technology should be used.

"Whatever the debate it should lead to something more positive in terms of helping referees in situations like Wednesday night.

"There is no question that the speed of the game means technology or additional assistance should be used.''


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