Any Copa America competition in any given year, you expect to see Brazil. Even without Neymar, they remain one of the best teams in the world and their quality is plain to see on any given match day. Given the crash-and-burn semi-final clash with Germany in the 2014 World Cup and the Quarter-Final bow-out in the 2015 Copa America, you might have expected Brazil to make a statement in the Copa America Centenario.
Despite accounting for the most lopsided match in the competition – a 7-1 win over Haiti – Brazil finished in third place in their group, behind a resilient Ecuador and their Guillotine-dropper, Peru.
But it’s not necessarily Brazil’s fault that they aren’t progressing, as strange as that sounds. Take a look how they lost:
It is as clear as the light of day that Peru scored via a handball and that goal proved to be all the needed nails in Brazil’s coffin. Just like that, they were gone.
We here at Stateside of Soccer have been saying it for awhile. These kinds of crucial calls cannot be left up to whether or not one of the handful of referees saw it. Even with minutes of deliberating, the officials still ruled it a goal and, in turn, ruled that Brazil were eliminated.
This shouldn’t be happening when there is such an easy solution waiting to be used. Replays is already used to goal line technology and you wouldn’t even know that replays are being used. That’s how quick the decisions are. It wouldn’t be like the NFL, where they have to look at every single camera angle at every single speed to make sure. These are simple decisions that could be decided instantaneously.
The handball can be seen on even the worst quality replay. For those of you that believe that replays have no place because of the delay factor, decide for yourself how long this decision would take by watching it yourself. If it took you longer than five seconds, you are clearly delaying for the sake of your own argument.
European competitions have been mired in over a century of tradition and as such, they can’t be the front runners for this sort of movement. They have shown very little interest at all. There are tests that are going to be run across eight leagues and MLS is included. Replays will be used for split second decisions like this and there is no reason to believe that it won’t be a complete success. With the millions that are going to be watching the World Cup live online in 2018, the stakes are going to grow.
MLS is in a rare position in this. Still in its infant stages, MLS can pave the way for other competitions to utilize replays and stop errors like this from determining the fate of teams.