Is the Two Extra Officials Experiment In Champions League Games Working?

I’ll keep this short and sweet.  Is the experiment in the Champions League games of having the two additional officials on each goal line working?  I don’t recall seeing them having to make a crucial decision in any of the games I have seen.  So no game changing decisions either way.

Has anyone seen anything by these goal-line officials that have made their presence worthwhile?

Is this something that will be successful enough that it will be put in place for all the major leagues in the world?


  1. ben gunter says:

    With the games that I have seen, I can say that I can count on one hand the times when the “5th” official assist the center in making decision. There have also been games in which the “5th” official is in clear site of a foul and doesn’t say anything.

    There have been games in which commentators have questioned what there role is, and I think this is something that UEFA or FIFA or whatever governing body that is using this system has to come to agreement on.

    It is my understanding that they are merely to make the goal line calls — with all the controversy of if the ball crosses the line.

    In my opinion, I like this system… I personally like the human feel, and the controversy. I do feel that the role of this official needs to be better defined so that everyone knows what they are able to do with their “magic wand”.

  2. ben gunter says:

    Seems your topics are very timely.

    Just saw this piece during the Champions League games today:

  3. Mike Saif says:

    Looks like I got luck with the timely issue. Wonder if the system will be expanded or if they will give the fifth official more powers to call fouls?

  4. Hugh Clements-Jewery says:

    My perspective is whether it makes the system better i.e. does it cut down on errors?
    I have only seen the extra officials in action a couple of times but in my view they are mostly for show i.e. they don’t improve things a great deal, particularly if the intent is to retain the ‘human element’ i.e. the potential for ‘interpretation’ and mistakes.

    Then I wonder about how this would affect the grass roots of the game. During my younger years in England having referee assistants was a luxury you only got when you reached a certain level – presumably because of the cost and availability of assistants. I worry that adding in extra referees would only increase the inequality in refereeing in the game.

    So I vote to get rid of them.

  5. Victor Alaniz says:

    The assistant referees (including the extra officials used at the Champions) are there to assist the center referee. If the center referee is in good shape and positions himself/herself well in the field, the assistants will have little to add to the decisions of the Center Referee. The truth is that not all Center Referees have the same vision, awareness, position, and game playing recognition, so the assistant referees become more important. It is up to the assistant referees to help the Center in making the correct calls. The 2 sideline assistant referees are not in a good position to assist the Center Referee with critical calls inside the penalty box, and they are there to ensure the call is made right. Whether it is a goal kick or a corner kick, whether is was a foul inside or outside the penalty box, etc. The intent is to make sure the Center Referee makes the right calls and if more assistant referees can assure that, then I vote for that.

    The games I have seen, I cannot tell if the extra officials are assisting or not because they do not have a flag like the 2 side line assistant referees. But I imagine they are communicating with the Center Referee to confirm the calls. With the current communicating devices used by the officials we do not have to see any visual signals from the assistants to know that they are doing their job or at least what they are suppossed to do which is assist the Center Referee in making the correct calls.