|F.A. Cup confusion|
But, would this really improve the game of football?
As stated in Law 10 ‘The Method of Scoring’ on page 32 of the official FIFA ‘Laws of the Game’ manual: “A goal is scored when the whole of the ball passes over the goal line, between the goalposts and under the crossbar.”
At present, this is a judgement call made by the referee and assistant referee, whose view is potentially obscured by players, leading to the belief that introducing technology would eradicate such issues.
FIFA is currently testing two potential camera-based methods, including ‘Smart Ball’ and ‘Hawk-Eye’.
The former refers to balls equipped with censors and magnetic fields around the goal to give a real-time verdict on whether or not the ball has crossed the line.
|Lampard out of luck|
The latter system uses triangulation, through six high-speed cameras, only needing to observe 25 percent of the ball to determine its location, overcoming the concern of players blocking the line of vision.
However, this is not real-time and would therefore require stoppages in play for disputed incidents. Cost of installation has also been estimated at £250,000 for each stadium to utilise such technology.
In this instance, a greater divide between the Premier League and the lower leagues would be created, an act which would be frowned upon by those unable to afford such facilities. It seems difficult to justify the costs of implementation for a scenario which is relatively rare.
True, most big-money sports in the modern era take advantage of technology to aid decision making, including finish line calls in horse racing, swimming and athletics. Cricket and tennis both use Hawk-Eye for in-line judgements, whilst rugby employs video referees for dubious try decisions.
To many general sports fans, football may appear to have been left in the dark ages, but all dedicated football fans will appreciate the one resounding difference between their favoured discipline and the others mentioned above.
|Keeper 'saves' a goal|
Football is the only non-stop sport, whereby breaks in play are few and far between and the very ethos of the game is based on hard, fast, flowing action. To introduce lengthy stoppages, interrupting the natural rhythm of the game, would be to remove the heartbeat of a sport which has survived perfectly well throughout the ages, without the need for such inclusion.
The most famous case in recent history occurred in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, when Frank Lampard’s 20-yard strike was judged not to have crossed the line, despite video replays showing the ball was a foot over the chalk.
Sure, England had reason to feel hard done by, but the fact remains, they were horrendously outclassed and convincingly defeated 4-1 by much classier opponents. So, rather than being a decision that changed the outcome of England’s World Cup fortunes, it became an event that was used as a scapegoat to mask England’s lack of talent.
Similarly, on Sunday, Tottenham were equally unlucky to have a goal awarded against them, which never crossed the line. But, despite Chelsea scoring on four other occasions, in an impressive 5-1 rout, it was the irrelevance of the goal that never was, which stole the headlines.
As with these two instances, there would be little to no overall change of the successes and failures in the football world.
|The 1966 World Cup Final|
The one major argument in favour of goal-line technology is justice. The problem being, the use of technology for one scenario creates inconsistencies in others.
For example, a referee may possess the power and knowledge to award a goal after confirming, through video replay, that the ball has crossed the line. Yet, if the corner that lead to the goal should never have been given, because video replays show the defender never touched the ball, it is impossible to claim justice in this situation.
The only way to achieve real justice throughout football is through the total use of computerised, video-assisted, robotic referees for every single decision, including throw-ins, free-kicks, corners, goal-kicks, penalties and goals causing uncountable stoppages and the complete death of the game.
Yes, sometimes humans get decisions wrong and sometimes they go in your teams favour and sometimes they do not, but this is part of the game.
Genuine football fans would agree that half the enjoyment of being a spectator, is the debates that ensue over the referee’s big calls. As the president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, claimed, “Fans love to debate any given incident in a game. It is part of the human nature of sport.”
|FIFA not keen on cameras|
FIFA have always claimed their objective is to open up football to the world, a notion that is made impossible by the undermining of its universality.
The idea of an ancient sport being replicated all over the planet, promoting ‘jumpers for goalposts’ football, is removed with the suggested inclusion of complex modern goal-line technology.
After all, football is an art, not a science.
Written by Dom Wallace
Written by Dom Wallace