Ever since the 2010 World Cup, when Frank Lampard’s goal for England was not given against Germany, there has been a strong cry for FIFA to introduce some sort of goal line technology. Sepp Blatter wanted to dismiss the idea, insisting that human error is part of the game. However, in football, one wrong result can see a club relegated or a manager sacked or even decide a title race, so this argument is becoming weaker and weaker.
In recent months we have seen AC Milan have a goal not given against Juventus when goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon picked up the ball after it had crossed the line. In the Premier League we saw a goal for Queens Park Rangers defender Clint Hill ruled out against Bolton Wanders even though the whole ball had crossed the line. QPR went on to lose the match 2-1, a result which sees them sitting in the relegation zone. Manager Mark Hughes was furious with the result and with the match officials.
“The laughable thing is that the FA has come out and said they are all for goal-line technology at half-time.That is absolutely ludicrous that they try and protect the poor performances of their officials. It’s a joke.”- QPR Manager Mark Hughes
Sepp Blatter now seems to have changed his views on goal line technology and has approved its development. Goal line technology could take the form of a high-tech chip inserted in the balls and sensors placed on the goal posts or, alternatively, a sort of Hawkeye system, similar to what is now in use in tennis and cricket. The International FA Board (IFAB) are the football law makers and are currently testing two goal technology systems, all I’m sure at some sort of ridiculous cost. When a final decision is made, this system will need to be implemented in every single football league, ground around the globe. Sounds cheap hur?
To me this is truly insane when a much more simple and cheaper system is already available. Video replay. As any fan of Rugby will know, video replay is a system that works. Sure sometimes they replay the footage way too many times, but I doubt that would happen in football if it was just to judge if the whole of a ball had crossed the line. Fans could argue it may slow down a match, but isn’t that what extra time is there for? Also it’s not like these kinds of incidents happen in every match.
What is wrong with providing the fourth official a small television on the side line to determine, from a video replay, if the ball has crossed the line? To borrow an idea from another sport, maybe each team should only be allowed 2, 3 maximum, challenges a game. The captain of the team could tell the referee that they want the incident checked to see if it was a goal of not- just as in tennis when players can challenge an umpire’s decision.
As far as I can tell, at the moment the only job of the fourth official is to hold up the substitute board, tell us how much extra time there is and take abuse from the two managers. I think he could handle the extra responsibility of watching a replay. These guys are referees as well, so why not use their skills for something a bit more useful than holding up a board and taking some stick.
Will this happen? No of course not. As you see, this idea is already used by Rugby. Football can’t be seen to be taking ideas from Rugby! What are you insane?! The whole world would explode if that happened. Football is the world game and doesn’t need to be told how to run it’s game by any other code thank you very much.
So, for now we’ll just have put up with more testing and more money wasted on this ridiculous concept and await its inevitable errors. Sepp Blatter has said he would “die” if he witnessed another goal-line error at the World Cup. So maybe that’s something to look forward to.