Rovers boss Bowyer makes call for technology
BLACKBURN Rovers boss Gary Bowyer has called on the football authorities to introduce technology to clear up controversial penalty decisions – as he waits to hear if Grant Hanley’s ban has been overturned.
Bowyer’s comments come after his captain was hit with a two-game suspension as a result of being sent off in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Millwall.
Hanley was given his second red card of the season after he was adjudged to have manhandled Lions striker Steve Morison in the box.
Having studied replays of the incident Rovers lodged an appeal with the FA – the result of which they expect this morning.
However even if their appeal is successful, making Hanley eligible to play in tonight’s home clash with Brighton & Hove Albion and Saturday’s visit of Ipswich Town to Ewood Park, that would not change Bowyer’s opinion that football needs to follow the example of sports like rugby league and cricket and give referees video assistance when it comes to awarding spot-kicks.
Bowyer said: “I think something has to be introduced.
“It’s all well and good if Grant Hanley gets off and he doesn’t get banned but the decision to give the penalty, which they went on to score, changed the course of the game.
“It has a massive effect on people’s livelihoods so for the sake of 30 seconds to review it, like they do in rugby league (with tries), I don’t see why in this day and age it can’t be done.
“I don’t think it should be done for every incident, say a foul leading up to a goal or something like that, but for key moments, yes, as surely it helps the game?
“It would be a bit like waiting for a try or waiting for an out or not out in cricket, it would add a little excitement.
“It’s something that should be looked at, discussed and trialled.”
Goal-line technology has been introduced in the Premier League and the Capital One Cup this season but has not been launched in the Football League due to the cost of installing and maintaining it.
Rovers have had to prepare two line-ups for tonight’s match – one containing Hanley and one without.
Bowyer added: “For Grant especially, it is going to be a big decision from the FA and we hope that they see it from our point of view because even at the time, if it was a foul, Matt Kilgallon was there to clear.”
Rovers went on to give away a second penalty at Millwall, bringing the total they have conceded this season up to 10 – all of which have come away from home.
Bowyer said: “It’s a staggering amount. I’ve no problem with the fact that if you give a penalty away and it is an actual penalty but we’ve a good case this season for feeling very, very hard done by.
“Look at Leicester away, Nottingham Forest away, and Watford and Millwall away – they were just not penalties.”
Striker Rudy Gestede missed Saturday’s trip to the Den with a groin problem but he could return tonight while on-loan Millwall winger Liam Feeney will be available for selection after he was ineligible to face his parent club.
However midfielder Jason Lowe has not yet recovered from the ankle injury he sustained in the 4-2 win at Huddersfield Town.
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