Goal Line Technology and Football

ff12There have been a lot of questions raised over the last few years regarding refereeing in football and how the tiniest of mistakes can cost a club side or an international team in a championship. However, the questions that were being raised were mainly on the quality of referees and not for the use of technology in the game. But that all changed since England was knocked out of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa after the lines-man failed to spot Frank Lampard scoring when his shot beat Manuel Neuer in the German goal after hitting the cross bar and denied England what would have been an important lead in a quarter final match.

But that was not to be and Germany came back strongly to score 4 goals against a side that its spirits depleted by the poor standard of refereeing. The English FA decided to take the matter up with FIFA and there were suggestions made about using goal line technology in matches of such magnitude. FIFA promised to look into the matter closely and since then, there have been calls for goal line technology to be incorporated into the game in order to ensure that teams are not ‘robbed’ by such refereeing decisions.

However, the world of football is in two minds with two clear opinions - one side thinks that using technology would ruin the sanctity of The Beautiful Game, whereas the other opines that without the use of technology, the sport will lose its credibility as a whole. According to the orthodox version, football is a game played on pure adrenaline and using stoppages when a suspect decision is made will destroy the flow of the game. Cricket and baseball and sometimes basketball and tennis can use technology because these are not played with the pace that football is played with.

On the other hand, there are opinions about how introducing time-outs in football, as well as technology can only help for the game to grow even more. It has to be understood here that football is one of those poor man’s game, where people just need a ball to play unlike some other expensive equipment in other sports of today. The adrenaline rush that a fan as well as a player goes through during the 90 minutes of a game cannot be compared to any other sporting spectacle and using technology that hinders the pace and action of the sport will not only reduce its popularity, but also make it very expensive for countries which are not much developed in terms of infrastructure. 

UEFA tried to implement the five referee system for spotting goal line balls and although that system is not full proof, it might just be the better alternative. Referees are also human and one must remember that England is a country that won the FIFA World Cup at home by virtue of The Phantom Goal scored by Geoff Hurst in the final – many clubs and national teams have suffered for long and that is why it is important to find as full proof system other than the use of technology.


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