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EPL coach wants NFL challenge flags in soccer

27 January 6:08 pm

EPL coach wants NFL challenge flags in soccer

By Simon Borg

There's no mistake. A 54-year-old English manager at the helm of the oldest club in England's Premier League is advocating a mini-revolution for the sport: the introduction of the NFL challenge system.

Before you throw cold water on the idea, consider for a moment the proposal put forth by Stoke City's Tony Pulis: a challenge flag per half for each team with 30 seconds for the match official to check upstairs. It tacks on a mere minute per half if both coaches use their flag.

His plan allows for video replay to make its entry at the highest levels of professional soccer without proving to be a scandalous shock to the system. Most reasonable fans can stomach this.

Beware, however: MLS should not be the guinea pig, otherwise the experiment gets labeled as a gimmick. If the EPL takes the first stab, the soccer world will surely embrace it. It should happen in England before it shows up anywhere else.

"It would help the referees, it would help us, the football nation and the supporters. And it would get the decision right, which is more important than anything else," Pulis says.

He actually never makes mention of a flag in his pitch. So can soccer be original and come up with its own object to hurl at the ref?

Pulis sells it well. Watch him in this video clip.