The discussion on the pros and cons of video technology to help football referees sometimes seems endless. Indeed, it will remain so as long as FIFA maintains its firm stance that the game must continue to be controlled by humans, with the element of human fallibility an enduring feature of the game - hard as that fact may be to swallow for those who feel, perhaps justifiably, disadvantaged by a referee's occasional faux pas.

But let's make a couple of points clear in this debate, without necessarily going over the arguments which FIFA has mentioned so many times and which still remain valid.

First, the advocates of video technology have to realise that were their wishes to be granted, the face of football would change drastically and irrevocably. The world constantly experiences an onward march of technology - at the present time more strident than ever before - and any vital ground conceded by the proponents of human fallibility would be most unlikely ever to be regained.

Second, we should give more thought to helping referees rather than criticising them. The referee's job - and that of the assistant referees, too - is hard enough under normal circumstances, although the gathering movement towards professionalisation should help put the match officials on a more even footing with those around them. But when he can no longer trust the players around him, it is made immeasurably harder.

There is, in many countries, a growing tendency to deceive the referee. The world's best players must be aware of their function as role models, and realise that the example they set is emulated lower down the football hierarchy. When a professional star takes a dive, millions of lesser players dive with him.

All players, stars and amateurs alike, must acknowledge once and for all that they cannot expect the referee to be sympathetic to their cause when they repeatedly seek to mislead him by simulating fouls and other tricks. And coaches have the responsibility to make clear to the players in their charge that this will be neither encouraged nor tolerated.

For such behaviour has a name, and not a very pleasant one: cheating. And referees, for all their human fallibility, do not cheat.