After only two days of matches at the Women’s EHF EURO 2016 in Sweden, referees have already relied on the new technology services offered to them for the first time at a EURO – with positive resolutions.
The instant replay technology came into action for the first time on EHF EURO level on Sunday, when the Netherlands Kelly Dulfer was shown a direct red card in the defeat against Germany after hitting Kim Naidziniavicius in the face following her shot on goal.
As two Dutch defenders were close to Naidziniavicius, referees Peter Horvath and Balazs Marton consulted the instant replay to confirm which player had hit the German.
As chairman of the Technical Refereeing Committee at the European Handball Federation, Dragan Nachevski, told ehf-euro.com prior to the tournament that a special focus will be on the physical part of the game. And the suspension of Dulfer is an example of that.
“There was no doubt about the direct qualification and in the end, the right player was suspended. It was a good example of how to use the instant replay as it has happened too often in the past that the wrong player was suspended,” he says.
Dulfer will face no further sanction however, and it was a job well done by the referee pair, according to Nachevski.
The improved goal line technology then came into action when Denmark beat Montenegro, 22:21, in Group C on Monday. The referees called for it to verify that Majda Mehmedovic’s shot had in fact crossed the line as she reduced Denmark’s lead to one goal, 19:18.
“The referees were sure it was a goal but to be certain, they decided to check it once again,” says Nachevski.
Potential for human mistakes cannot be erased
Video proof has been introduced to many sports in the past years, with tennis being a good example of a different usage. There, players can call for a video proof and have the right for three failed attempts per set.
Does Nachevski think that could that be modified to work with handball?
“I’m not in favour of this because we don’t want to destroy the game by using this too much. I’m in favour of the new technology, but sometimes the human mistakes should be allowed to stand.”