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Jurgen Klinsmann believes instant replay is ‘overdue’

Jurgen Klinsmann USMNT Guatemala 70

The topic of video review has been a hot one for quite a while now, but U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann believes the debate should have been settled decades ago.

Klinsmann chimed in on the latest topic to take center stage in U.S. Soccer, stating that the introduction of instant replay is long overdue and that he believes that video review should be implemented across the soccer landscape.

“The last thing you want to see is a game decided by referee mistakes,” Klinsmann said in a video released by U.S. Soccer. “Referees are trying their best. They’re humans and mistakes happen, but we are at a time now where technology is just outstanding (and) not only goal-line technology that finally was used in the last World Cup. It was overdue for 20 years.

“Now you are at a time where you can easily stop real quick, have the slow motion on the sideline, look at it real quick. Was it inside the box or outside the box? Was it a red card or was it not a red card? Penalty or not? Just take those 10 seconds and decide that and not leave it up to the human decision that saw it in that moment maybe the wrong way. I think video technology is overdue in important decisions on the soccer field and it has to be a part of the game in the future time.”

Klinsmann’s comments come in the wake of several controversial decisions across MLS, prompting several of the league’s coaches to speak out in favor of increased replay measures.

A total of 19 red cards have been issued across MLS through seven weeks, while several, such as Nigel de Jong’s foul on Darlington Nagbe, have been blatantly missed. Referees have also come under fire for a series of incorrect calls, with Sunday’s clash between Orlando City and the New England Revolution providing extra fodder with a pair of game-changing blown calls in stoppage time.


  1. the most commonly blown calls seem to be “offside.” If they could figure out a way to check it in real time, at least when a goal has been scored it would be good in my book.

  2. 10 seconds? Once again JK is clueless.
    No way it happens in under 2 mins.

    For those saying it is working in NFL etc No it isn’t
    still debates and man oh man the game slows down.

    Look at discussions of fouls now. View it 100 times, still 50/50 opinion splits. So now LA gets the 50/50 call. What is the non Galaxy teams first and everlasting thought? Conspiracy. They even looked at the video and still called it incorrectly.

    Pass, it isnt perfect and maybe replay solves some of that.
    Dont care. Dont do it

    • Judgement calls – fouls and dives – I agree. What about an offside? That’s difficult to call in real-time, but I think they could very quickly and definitively review that. Or a handball? There can be some judgement there, but not much. If it’s an obviously blown call, it could also be reviewed quickly and the ref notified; if it’s not obvious right away, do nothing, just like now.

  3. MLS used to have a backwards-running game clock and hockey-style shootouts, and uses a convoluted playoff system to decide its champion. Unilaterally installing replay shouldn’t be a problem

    • Bring back the shootouts!

      The one non purist adaptation that I absolutely think is/was an improvement, over pk’s from the spot

      • But not for tied league games. There is nothing wrong or “unamerican” about games ending in ties. But it wouldn’t be bad to implement the breakaway shootout instead of PKs for cup matches etc.

  4. Instant Replay: I think it has it’s place in moderation. -Reasonable People Before
    Klinsmann suggests Instant Replay: I f–king hate everything about the idea. -“Reasonable” People After

    • No kidding–regardless of my personal opinion on Klinsmann or replay, this board needs to take a good look at the ad hominem fallacy.

      But this is the Internet, so that won’t happen.

  5. Baseball, football and basketball all use it in certain conditions. Why not professional soccer? A no-brainer. Come up with some sensible rules and if some prove to be unworkable, change the rule. What’s so hard about that?

    • You cannot compare soccer to these sports, which all feature lengthy timeouts or frequent natural breaks, and are basically designed for television.

      A better comparison has to be rugby, which has some stoppages in play, but fewer, and more importantly should set the example for civility in sport. That is, the referee is mic’d up and players do not and absolutely cannot argue a call. They except an inherent subjectivity about the game, which is amazing to watch honestly. They are respectful, and that is despite the fact their referees can be even more influential to a match than in soccer.

      Which is to say, that 10 players ganging up to harass a referee about a call – which is the equivalent of what bloggers have been doing this season in MLS – and as we now see weekly on the field all over Europe, is a much bigger problem than the actual performance of a referee (assuming it is adequate and not corrupted).

      • So you are saying that you are incapable of thinking up a rule that takes into account the nature of the game? Here’s a couple of considerations–limit when it is applied, limit how often it is applied, limit who can call for a review, and limit it to times when there are going to be some stoppages anyway. For example, limit it to red cards or goals where there may or may not have been an offside. In both cases there would be stoppages in play anyway. Second, allow each coach one challenge per game, for a maximum of two per game. Finally, limit the amount of time given to the refs to review the play,. If they can’t see a wrong call was made after one minute of review, the play on the field stands. Then, based on experience, after a year you can tweak the rules, change the rules or jettison the rules. There, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

  6. I agree. On goals only.

    In fact I demand that they retroactively review Mo Edu’s goal in the second 2010 WC group stage game and credit him with the goal and update records to show that we won the group 7 points to England’s 5

  7. If you play well you wouldn’t need to worry about “referee mistakes” or “goal-line technology” or cards Klinsmann. Let the weaker team worry about that.

  8. …..but if there are no bad calls in a game who are we going to blame when we lose? Our own players?
    If anybody thinks controversies will end with instant replay then you are too stupid to live. There’s that group of people that sit in front of the tv just looking for something to bitch about not to mention the hundreds of tv “analysts” that make a living creating controversieS. Football is fine the way it is.

  9. This is reassuring. I would worry if the fussballmeister agreed with me. I take the position that the game should be the same at all levels. If you can’t do in a Sunday beer league or in a high school game, you shouldn’t do it at all.
    We all know that refs get calls wrong, but somehow the game has survived for over a century.Let’s stick to what we have

      • Thank you for your carefully reasoned and thoughtful reply. Actually, my thinking stems from long experience with sports. Games, being contests between humans and officiated by humans, are inherently flawed. No amount of technology is going to change that and the games have survived despite being flawed. The problem that technology is allegedly trying to fix is both impossible to fix and trivial.
        Moreover, games draw part of their strength from the fact that almost anyone can participate at some level. Almost anyone can play some form of soccer. The more you make the game at what we laughingly refer to as the highest level different from the other versions, you have cut that form of the game from its roots in society. Before you know it, the highest leagues will be playing a different game entirely.
        And to make a different point, how has the introduction of technology to American football and basketball improved those games? My experience is that tv replays don’t improve the game and detract from the spectators’ experience. Sitting watching three refs stare at a tv monitor for 10 minutes is not part of my preferred sports experience. There are so many officiating errors in a basketball game that correcting one or two per game by using replays is not worth the effort.

    • Course………….. there is a difference between what in past times was thinking a ref may have got it wrong….. and a multi-million person TV audience with much more knowledge than the poor ref… knowing it for a fact… confirmed in slow-mo from 6 different angles, virtually in real time. And the little niggling detail of the multi-millions of dollars hinging on winning/losing in many cases. It’ll happen…. not if, but when.

    • “If you can’t do in a Sunday beer league or in a high school game, you shouldn’t do it at all.” Really?

      – You cannot have medical staff to do appropriate head injury protocol at beer league so they should not do it at the professional level???

      – You cannot have moisture draining fields or high tech seed planting or maintenance at beer league, so you should not have it on professional fields?

      I could go on and on.

    • There is some truth to this that implementing this at the top leagues and international games will be easy but not so much in many other parts of the FIFA sanctioned world. One of the things that makes the game so great is the simplicity.

      That said I don’t see what is stopping individual leagues or tournaments from just doing it…we have all seen crazier things added to the games.

    • Yeah, and slavery was legal for hundreds of years, we were once allowed to drink while driving, and women commonly drank copious amounts of alcohol while pregnant. Not sure why we changed any of those things…

    • This was Platini’s reasoning for not (wanting to) introduce goal line technology. That is would be too expensive to implement on any level lower than major intl. tournaments and top leagues. Which it is. But that didn’t prevent the system from being very useful in the previous world cup and now it is part of our game forever.

      But aside from that I agree that replay is another animal and would need years of testing, and even then may not work. If it does enter our purist culture and you don’t like it, go watch kids play ball in the park and you’ll see the real game the way it is supposed to be played in all its innocence. (I’m serious)

  10. Not all goals, that would be a waste of time. The majority of goals are just that, goals. I think it should be used by the discretion of the head ref and the 4th ref. If the ref clearly sees a hand ball in the PK area there is no need to review it.

  11. Replay should be limited to critical situations where the game would be stopped anyway. All called goals should be reviewed to ensure the ball went over the line (to the extent that technology is not in place) and to ensure no handball or offside. All straight red cards should be reviewed for overwhelming evidence that the foul was not red-card worthy. These are situations that usually result in 30 second or more delays of play anyway. I would not review yellow cards or boundary calls (e.g., goal kick v. corner). I would review “uncalled” goals — where the ball went into the net but the goal was waived off for some reason related to the last player who touched the ball (e.g., handball, offside, foul). But rather than stop the game for that, the review should take place while the game proceeds. If the replay official determines based on overwhelming evidence that the goal should have counted, it will be counted at the next natural stoppage of play, at which point the ball would be placed back at the center circle. If the replay official determines that the ref got it right, there would be no consequence on the field. I would review all yellow cards after the game to determine if the foul should have been given, and if not, then the card should be rescinded.

    • “But rather than stop the game for that, the review should take place while the game proceeds.”

      What if someone scores in the meantime? Does it matter if it’s a continuation of the play (a goal on the rebound 1/2 second later), if the ball is cleared and set up for another goal, or if the other team scores down at the other end? Or what if someone’s setting up for a corner, a dangerous free kick, or a PK when word comes in that a goal was actually scored 30 seconds ago?

      I actually kind of agree with this, but it brings up complications. Maybe part of the reason there still isn’t much of a push for replay.


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