Bristol City manager calls for radical rugby style approach to refereeing and introduction of VAR

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The Bristol City boss wants football to use more technology to get a better understanding of the mind of a match official

Nigel Pearson has called on football governing bodies to introduce more technology for referees.

Bristol City were on the receiving end of a controversial decision in their opening day loss to Hull City.

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Andreas Weimann had given the Robins the lead but the Tigers were given a route back into the game after Kal Naismith was judged to have fouled debutant Benjamin Tetteth.

Naismith outstretched his leg when challenging the midfielder but there looked to be minimal contact and there was a delayed response from the Hull player.

Pearson said City had been ‘mugged’ in the loss and that it was embarrassing for the officials in his post-match press conference.

A few days removed, he was asked whether he was for the introduction of VAR, he responded: “Yes. I think VAR puts the officials in a position. It should help them and it makes them more accountable.

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“So it is all transparent and there is nothing to hide. Technology should be there to help the officials.

“I have heard the argument about the fact that some grounds aren’t set up for it. I think with rugby league if you look at the standard of a lot of the stadiums in the Championship. I don’t know whether that is an argument that is valid to be honest with you.”

Only in the Premier League is VAR used consistently in English football having been in place for the last three seasons. It has been considered at this level but bosses have spoken of problems of a full implementation of the system.

It was used during the Championship, League One and League Two play-off finals which were staged at Wembley Stadium given the importance of all three matches.

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As it stands, the only technology that is used in English football’s second tier is goal-line technology, which uses cameras to decide whether a ball has crossed the line or not.

But the 58-year-old was keen to go one step further than just the introduction of a video-assistant-referee, which has been touted at this level.

He is keen on an introduction of a similar system that rugby adopts which allows coaches to listen to the dialogue match officials have during the match.

Pearson said: “I also think what we should adopt in football which for some unknown reason is that the powers that be won’t go down that route is what they do in rugby. That is to mic them up and so we can hear what is being said.

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“I think it would be better for the game if there was transparency as to what the process is when decisions are made. I don’t know why they don’t do that, maybe they’re afraid?

“We can have a system which helps the officials to come to a decision. They don’t have anything to hide so I think we should be able to hear what they are saying so at least then we all know in the stadium what the reasons are.”

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