US Soccer needs to embrace goal-line technology

Spread the love

Soccer has its fair share of issues involving their referees. Whether it be yellow cards out of the blue, non-calls, or even missing clear goals, the sport in America is no different in its inconsistency than it is in the NBA, NFL, MLB, or NHL. The debate on how to fix the issues that MLS, NASL, and all soccer leagues in North America are involving PRO Referees (See this piece written by LWOS’ Ned Joyce) is plentiful. Among the smoke involved with debates on the quality of PRO referees is eliminating the debate on whether a ball crosses the goal-line.

Whether or not a ball crossed the goal-line can easily make or break a game. Even some of the most ludicrous shots on goal can be counted depending on the referees.

US Soccer needs to embrace goal-line technology

Some of have suggested that traditional video replay (the kind you see NFL spend large portions of games reviewing) will help fix this issue. In a column from Inquistr, the argument for video replay is that it would help make calls and make calls correct during the game. The issues that arise from that can be:

  1. Soccer is a game of pace. If you stop matches to review footage, and that happensthree or four times during a single match the normal stoppage time (on rare occasions can reach six or seven minutes) becomes ten or fifteen minutes for each half.
  2. Who is to say that the person reviewing the footage will get it right? Even in the world of the NFL, which heavily uses the traditional video replay, we still see that mistakes can be occur:

The need for new systems to be put in to place to help grow the game from a refereeing standpoint has to be put into a top priority by US Soccer. While it’s appropriate to believe that no system is perfect, traditional video replay just can’t work in regards to soccer. So what can be done?

Goal-Line Technology

During the last men’s world cup (2014) FIFA approved of a piece of technology to be used that would both eliminate the outright stoppage of play while also increasing the standard that referees are held to. Goal-line technology allows for numerous cameras to be pointed at each goal line and for a referees to have a device attached to his wrist. While there are still issues with the technology and within FIFA it’s still being experimented with the concept is what can be seen as best for the sport:

And yes, this technology would cost a numerous amount of things for teams and leagues to take into account. Money, time, more referees, more staff, cameras, all of which adds up to a fair amount of money. If US Soccer would want this, the money is there. According to the FIFA Financial Reports, even with the experimental technology used in 2014 in Brazil FIFA walked away for over 300 million dollars in profit.

So what is the wait? Obviously those in charge seem resistant to change. It is a lot like the depth of the time period that baseball had where there was really no video review system in place. Soccer is a prideful game, and those in charge don’t want to change the sacredness of the game. Whatever the case may be, fans are ready to remove the constant debate when a controversial call is made and while no system or piece of technology will remove all questionable parts of the game, goal-line technology will move the sport into the right direction.

Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images