THE referee in the Real Madrid v Barcelona game at the Bernabeu on Sunday night had some difficult decisions to make - and got most of them wrong.

His actions helped Barca to win the game 4-3 - Lionel Messi netted two controversial penalties - and will have a huge impact on the race for the La Liga title.

It may be small potatoes compared to El Clasico, but there was also a contentious spot-kick call in the Brechin v Rangers match I covered for BT Sport on Sunday.

Brechin had, I felt, a pretty good shout for a penalty when Cammy Bell brought down Alan Trouten.

But the man who went to ground ended up being booked for simulation.

Many people felt that because Bell had made contact with the ball first of all it did not constitute a foul. But that, as any referee will tell you, is not correct.

I think that these incidents, along with many, many others, show that it has got harder and harder for referees to officiate matches at the highest level.

A lot of it has to do with the industry that I work in - television. The technology we have improves every year. There are more cameras at games. Incidents are covered from more angles.

The armchair viewer at home often has a better vantage point than the match official.

They can see video replays of flash points. The man-in-the-middle, meanwhile, cannot. It does make you ask yourself: "Who would be a referee?" You certainly need to have an extremely thick skin to deal with the stick that is bound to come your way.

Every single thing they do is scrutinised extensively. Goaline technology has been brought in this season in the Barclays Premier League in England. But how far down that road should football go?

Personally, I don't think every decision a referee makes should be verified by video evidence. Even video footage of an incident can prove inconclusive at times. The game would take far too long if, say, every offside call was reviewed.

After all, the Andres Iniesta penalty at the weekend, which Messi converted to clinch victory for the visitors, is still being disputed now many days after Alberto Undiano Mallenco gave it. Some would say it was a penalty for Barcelona while some would argue that is was not. I personally feel the Real players made it easy for the referee to award it.

But I have consistently argued for the use of video replays in refereeing in football and believe that, if done properly, it would assist our officials enormously.

I think it would be interesting to conduct an experiment and have a referee situated in a television truck, where he is able to view incidents from all the same angles as the directors, during a game.

If there were any incidences of foul play - of head-butting, of elbowing, of somebody being kicked - off the ball that the match official missed then he could notify him.

Surely that would improve the performance of the referee and mean there was less dissatisfaction among supporters about their displays.