Officials should be enlightened - Wenger

November 20, 2006

Arsene Wenger has called for referees to embrace video technology as not utilising it is like 'playing night games with torches'.

The treatment of referees is under the spotlight again after another weekend of criticism aimed at officials in Premiership matches.

Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd criticised referee Chris Hoy after the defeat at Portsmouth, while Tottenham manager Martin Jol and Blackburn's Mark Hughes both castigated Phil Dowd following the 1-1 draw at Ewood Park.

Hughes maintained video technology should be introduced 'sooner rather than later' after his side looked to have been denied a penalty.

Wenger maintains the instant access to television replays now available to managers around the technical area could easily be adapted for use by the match officials during the game.

'You want them to take the right decisions,' said the Arsenal manager.

'The media are so close to the bench now, when the referee makes a decision, the bench checks the television - is the decision right or not?

'That has increased the frustration on the bench, because before you knew you could not have access to the television during the game and had to check it after the game.

'At least the game was a bit smoother for the referee.'

Wenger added: 'It is a case I have defended for a long time - but some people refuse progress.

'It is like saying you do not want to play with electricity, you want to stick to playing night games with torches.'

The Arsenal manager feels given the speed at which information can now be relayed, it is a nonsense referees do not use what is instantaneously available to journalists and the viewing public.

Wenger said: 'Every decision of the referee is on television and is analysed - but the only one in the whole game who has no access to the video and the right picture is the referee.

'But what is even more surprising that the referee does not want to use it.

'It is amazing I must say. That the biggest surprise to me.'