UEFA President Michel Platini supports the idea of adding a 5th referee to soccer games in an effort to reduce the number of referee errors that can affect the outcome of a game. Currently, there are 4 referees in any soccer game but only 3 can really make decisions during the game so in effect 2 more referees would be added to every soccer game if the President’s plan goes through. Platini like most soccer people is against the idea of video replay for controversial plays because he claims it will slow down the game. But Michel, you won’t be going to the video referee for every play. In most games there are no controversial plays and I doubt that in the worst case a game may be interrupted once or maybe twice for the video judge to make a decision.

The UEFA President believes that adding one more referee will eliminate 99% of all mistakes including the dubious called Andriano scored with this hand last week in the Italian Derby between Inter and AC Milan. I do agree with him that having another set of eyes watching the game will help eliminate some of the mistakes but why not give this 5th referee a TV monitor and the ability to watch video replays of a controversial play to help him/her make a better decision when needed?

Other than his plans for soccer refereeing, Platini also expressed his confidence that Poland and Ukraine will be ready in time to host the 2012 European Championships and UEFA will stick with them for now. The two countries have fallen behind in developing the necessary infrastructure for hosting the tournament a situation that is not helped by the recent economic downturn hurting just about every country on this planet.

Finally, Michel Platini also told European legislators to keep their hands off soccer. That said, Platini wants to move forward with his own plan to introduce new UEFA rules that will cap the amount of money teams spend on player transfers and salaries. In a model based on how sports teams are run in the USA, he wants to introduce salary caps in order to even the field among teams in Europe making soccer competition more interesting and not dominated by the richer ones especially those owned by super wealthy citizens such as Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. Platini also suggested that such new rules are necessary in order to prevent European soccer teams for imploding under the pressure of the current economic downturn. Don’t forget that most of the European soccer clubs are currently under serious financial trouble buried in debt. The only difference is that Platini wants UEFA to take care of their own business instead of EU regulators stepping in to fix things.


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