Frustrated St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt said it was “unfair” to the walking community that critical video review calls were shrouded in controversy and suspicion due to inadequate technology.
The AFL has confirmed that a trial of ball tracking technology is “in the works” to help the ARC make clear calls on results.
Richmond fell just short of victory over Brisbane on Thursday night, going down by two points at the Gabba in a dramatic elimination final that ended in controversy.
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Tigers star Tom Lynch’s shot sailed over the keeper in the dying minutes. The goal judge referred the decision to the ARC, but said the soft call was a goal.
After video replays, the goal referee was overruled by the ARC and the goal was deemed to have hit the post.
The reversal indicated that the assessor had sufficient evidence to overturn the call. However, after the game, this became very doubtful.
The AFL finalized its decision after Friday night’s two-point loss to the Tigers, but Richmond coach Damien Hardwick took issue with the system, which he described as “indecisive”.
But speaking on Fox Footy on Friday night, Riewoldt said the flaws in goal-line technology were not enough.
“We were in the grand final in 2009 when Tom Hawkins (hit the post) – and I know I played in that game – but the point is, 13 years later, we’re still here,” Riewoldt said.
“It’s not fair to the players, coaches and fans who have invested so much to put up with the decision and be told it was the right decision.” Don’t treat the fans like mugs.
Triple premiership Lion Jonathan Brown said the right calls were eventually made, but the inadequacies of the technology led to faulty decision-making.
“At the end of the day we made the right decision, but I’m not sure the rules allow for that,” Brown told Fox Footy.
“Are you going for a ride? It looks like they copied it from ARC last night.
Seven-time All-Australian Nathan Buckley added: “On balance it looks like the right decision. But the way the law is written should be determined to overturn the referee’s call.
Meanwhile, Herald Sun Journalist John Ralph reports that the AFL is in talks to adopt technology that includes microchips in balls, similar to the operation in Australia’s Super Rugby competition.
“It took an effective spectator in the stands with an iPhone to provide evidence that it was behind rather than a goal,” Ralph told Fox Footy.
“The question now is how to bulletproof a system with significant weaknesses. Richmond and Brisbane are in desperate need of repairs.
“I revealed today that the AFL had partnered with SportsTech last week. A microchip test in a soccer ball is expected to take place next year with a microchip weighing just a few grams. It effectively sends 20 signals around the Earth at eight times per second. It really delivers Hawkeye-style precision.
“The AFL confirmed to Fox Footy today that testing is underway.
“Despite some speculation at the moment, the AFL does not react emotionally to whether or not a player is punched. Only if both men in that ARC believe there is real evidence to back it up – and it was left behind after a goal last night – so as you can understand, Damien Hardwick was very surprised.