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September 19, 2009

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Everton manager Moyes unhappy with extra refs

EVERTON'S David Moyes was unhappy the additional assistant referees (AARs) used during his team's Europa League win over AEK Athens on Thursday missed a key incident.

Everton opened its Group I campaign with an easy 4-0 win but the night was perhaps more significant because it heralded the era of AARs as European governing body UEFA's experiment of placing an extra official behind each goal got underway.

Everton's satisfaction with its performance at Goodison Park was soured by striker Louis Saha's injury-time dismissal for raising his hand to the face of AEK fullback Juanfran. However, Juanfran appeared to kick out at the Frenchman in the lead-up to the incident although that was missed by referee Robert Malek and all of his assistants leading Everton manager Moyes to question how that could have happened.

"It's amazing that they see the small arm from Louis but not the big kick that was aimed at him beforehand despite all those officials in and around the box," Moyes told reporters. "It was disappointing because it was an outrageous kick on him.

"Maybe the extra officials were looking for something to do. But they were there and initially got it wrong, because not to see the kick on him was really poor."

Aid referees

Football bosses want to see if the extra officials can aid referees in crucial decisions such as diving in the area, shirt pulling and whether the ball has crossed the goal-line or not.

The system is only in its infancy, but it already promises to split opinion -- just like the calls for technology are opposing football traditionalists like UEFA president Michel Platini against ardent advocates of video replays.

"It's just the beginning, but I think we will get used to the new system," Lille forward Gervinho said. "The most important thing is that president Platini finds solutions and that football improves."

However, if incorrect decisions are made even with the extra pairs of eyes, the calls for video replays will likely only intensify.

"I think we should do exactly the same as rugby. A microphone so we can hear the referees and video (replay) is the ideal scenario," Lille defender Rami said. "There were two more (officials) tonight, but I didn't notice them."

At Stadium Lille Metropole, football history was made with very little fuss -- except for Lille coach Rudi Garcia.

"On tonight's evidence, I can't see the use of it."


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