Rugby World Cup organisers are committed to reducing delays caused by Television Match Official (TMO) decisions following a series of controversial incidents in the first eight Rugby World Cup matches.
Lengthy hold-ups have infuriated spectators and television audiences around the world at the start of the global showpiece tournament.
World Rugby Match Officials Selection Committee chairman John Jeffrey said the technology available was invaluable.
“The TMO is a part of the match official team and the fantastic technology available is a tool to be used in the making of key decisions during matches,” he said in a statement on Monday.
“The TMO process is used to make sure the correct calls are made to protect the integrity of the game.”.
In Friday’s opening match between England and Fiji, the clock was stopped for 10 minutes and eight seconds while referee Jaco Peyper referred six incidents to the TMO.
Jeffrey said 28 percent of stoppage time in that game was taken up by the TMO process, adding that he was committed to reducing that while not compromising on accuracy.
“As such, all involved – referees, TMOs, technicians and television producers – are working together to achieve that,” he said.
Tournament organisers sought to clarify the situation.
“The TMOs are tasked with promoting accurate and consistent decision-making,” they said.
“The objective of the TMO system is to ensure accurate and consistent decisions are made on the field in a timely and efficient manner,” they added.
“The TMO is a tool to help referees and assistant referees with their on-field calls and the referee remains the decision-maker who is in charge of the process.”