The introduction of goal line technology into the game has been heavily blocked by Sepp Blatter for years, constantly insisting it has no place in the game. Fast forward to the 2010 world cup where Frank Lampard has a clear goal dismissed for England against Germany with the ball bouncing off the underside of the bar and ATLEAST a foot over the goal line.
Consequently, FIFA have budged and are allowing some form of technology to assist referees. Goal line technology will be officially used in the FIFA confederation cup in Brazil. Testing of this technology took place in the Club World Cup in December 2012 trying to decide between different technologies and making sure of their accuracy. In the end a German company, GoalControl-4D, was selected. The technology is based on having seven high-speed cameras trained on each goalmouth. In the case of a disputed goal, a signal is transmitted to the referee’s watch within one second to indicate whether it should be awarded.
The following video shows the system working to indicate a goal with the ball only crossing the line for 4 milliseconds:
Some are of the opinion that they do not want to see football contaminated with technological equipment that affects its fluidity and continuous action. What makes football special is that its almost uninterrupted action, unlike many of the north american sports, with time outs and pauses for refereeing decisions. Many also don’t want to loose the human error factor from referees which results in many controversial moments and adds to the excitement of the game. I agree with all of these opinions but at the same time, I’d like the outcome of games to be fair, especially if a team scores a goal which they deserve.
The positive from this technology is that, since a signal is transmitted to the referee’s watch instantly, it does not interrupt the flow of the game whatsoever. Also, it is unfair to expect the linesmen, who are not on the goal line at the time, to make a decision on whether the whole ball was over the line or not in as little time as 4 milliseconds. Its just not humanly possible. Sure, we can argue and have controversy but not at the expense of referees missing out on big games due to ludicrous expectations.
I’m all for goal line technology as long as it does not push us towards incorporating other referee aids such as those for penalties or offside. As long as these systems do not cause ANY interruptions in the beautiful game then bring them on. But we must ensure that we proceed with caution. Football is attractive to so many people because it is free flowing and fast, something that could potentially be lost by the inclusion of more technology further down the line. Lets try and keep the difference between grass roots football and professional football as little as possible as to not lose touch with football fans. After all, this is the poor man’s sport.