watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Page last updated at Friday, 21 March 2008, 14:34 GMT

Benitez backs protection by video

Rafael Benitez
Rafael Benitez wants skilful players to receive greater protection

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez wants retrospective video evidence to be used to protect the Premier League's most skilful players.

Benitez, whose side play at Manchester United on Sunday, made his call after Sir Alex Ferguson pleaded for protection for Cristiano Ronaldo.

He said: "I have always felt that video evidence should be used after a game for disciplinary matters.

"You can find things, you can protect players for the next game."

Players will then know that there are cameras watching them. The video is really important

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez

Benitez added the names of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to the list of players he feels should receive protection.

"Everyone will see that players have to be careful, they will say 'I can't do this again because I could be banned on what the video shows'," he said.

"To me it is clear, you do not need to change the game, you just need to analyse what has happened.

"If players get banned for three games the first week it is done, then three games on the second week and more on the third, it will soon stop.

"It will take just a few weeks of this type of action and things will change very quickly."

The Football Association appeared to rule out retrospective decision-making when asked if Chelsea's Ashley Cole would receive further punishment on top of a yellow card for his foul on Spurs' defender Alan Hutton at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

An FA spokesman said: "We cannot re-referee matches. The player was shown a yellow card at the time and the decision is not then looked at retrospectively."

Benitez said: "I don't want to talk about just Ronaldo or Torres. Skilful players must be protected. We need to help referees and we need to look at the video afterwards to see what has happened.

"Players will then know that there are cameras watching them. The video is really important. You can make mistakes during a game, but the video will allow things to be analysed."

Benitez said: "It is different talking about using technology to judge goals, which Fifa has rejected. To use technology for incidents in a game is valid.

"If a referee gives a yellow card for a tackle, or a yellow card for use of the elbow, and then afterwards you can see the intent, then why can the decision not be changed?

"A referee can say he made a mistake. And the next time, the next player will not do the same."

Man Utd v Liverpool
21 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Big four set for Sunday showdown
21 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Alan Hansen's column
20 Mar 08 |  Premier League
Ferguson furious after Cup exit
08 Mar 08 |  Football


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites