Finally, Goal-line Technology
One of the most posed topics for discussion by anyone who even loosely follows the sport is whether or not technology has a place in football. Everyone seems to have an opinion; either you’re a purist and any mention of rule changes sits as well with you as boiled chicken, or you find room for improvement in the beautiful game.
Using England as an example we can see two sides of the same coin. In the 2010 World Cup, Frank Lampard clearly rung a ball off the crossbar, which then hit the ground beyond the goal line, only to spin back out of the net. Despite the sideline judge being in great position, the goal was missed and Germany walked away with the game. But purists will be quick to point out how just weeks ago, England were fortunate to make it out of the group stage of Euro 2012 as Ukraine clearly scored a goal that might have stopped the Three Lions in their tracks. There will always be back-and-forth for every decision, so how to know which is right? Who ultimately makes that decision? That was rhetorical.
There are two companies in the running to outfit the league with appropriate technology – Hawk-Eye and GoalRef. FIFA has approved both systems, which are very different from each other. Hawk-Eye uses high quality cameras, similar to the ones used in tennis – if they can track a tiny tennis ball travelling over 200km/h, I think it should be successful in football.
It sounds like I am arguing for goal-line technology – good, because I am. I’m certainly not in favour of many rule changes, especially in a sport which has stood the test of time, is loved by so many for what it is, and continues to grow and re-invent itself in both style and athleticism. That said, along with the inclusion of stricter penalties for embellishment (more on that another day, perhaps), goal line technology is one rule which I think is imperative.
First, there is way too much money on the line, and we know what money does to people. The more money floating around, the more little black briefcases circulating, the more corruption (or allegations of corruption) will spread. There is nothing the football bodies can do to assure unbiased officiating, aside from replacing referees with robots. That said, by including goal-line technology football is assuring the most critical of decisions are accurate, and I believe that makes the game just a bit better. My only problem is that they can’t seem on a time frame for inclusion of the technology.
…until tomorrow, lads.