Goal-line technology? Not for me!

After today’s England v Germany game where Frank Lampard had a goal incorrectly ruled out despite the ball crossing the line by at least a yard, there will be repeated calls for goal-line technology to be introduced into the game so incidents like that one and the USA’s incorrectly disallowed goal against Slovenia never happen again. Well, I’m still against it and I’ll try to explain why.
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Firstly, can anyone out there tell me what is actually meant by ‘goal-line technology’? Some people take it to mean the use of television replays. Some mean having some kind of sensor in the ball or in the frame of the goal that would alert the referee if the ball crosses the line.
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To me ‘goal-line technology’ is just a catchall phrase that people say without really knowing what they mean. They want something to be done, but they can’t say what. There isn’t a single, universal concept that everyone wants to see implemented.
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In March, FIFA rejected the use of technology, with Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke saying "The door is closed. The decision was not to use technology at all," and adding "Technology should not enter into the game, It was a clear statement made by the majority of the IFAB (International Football Association Board) … Let's keep the game of football as it is." >>
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It is thought that the two systems the IFAB were presented with were a chip in a ball (Cairos) and Hawk-eye, which is currently used in a few sports including tennis and cricket.>>
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What you have to consider is that if some form of technology was brought into the game, it would apply everywhere in the world. That means sensors in every ball used in every league or in every goal-post in every stadium where football is played all over the world, not just in the large tournaments like the World Cup. Who would pay for that? While the costs involved would be a drop in the ocean for rich football associations like the FA, governing bodies in poorer nations would suffer greatly to meet the costs involved. It’s a nice idea but I don’t think it’ll ever be financially feasible enough to implement. >>
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Consider this too about the sensor in the ball argument. Different leagues use different ball manufacturers so what would happen if the company manufacturing this technology signs some kind of exclusivity deal with a particular manufacturer?
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As for TV replays, I’ve never really been a fan of that idea. What nobody has ever been able to explain to me with any satisfaction is what exactly would happen. Take today’s game, when Lampard’s goal wasn’t given, Germany ran up the pitch and Podolski (I think) had a shot that nearly went in. What would happen exactly with regards to the replay? Would it happen straight away, and if so, how would the game be restarted? Or would we have to wait until the ball goes out of play so there’s a natural stoppage in the game, by which time anything could have happened?
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In my opinion one of the best things about football is the pace at which the game is played and that it would be a real shame if that pace were affected by having to stop for replays. Also, where do you draw the line on what gets replayed? Do you limit it to goal-line/penalty incidents or do you open it up to every single decision? An incorrectly given throw-in can have just as much influence on a game as a blown offside call. That seems to be one of the main reasons for the association heads rejecting the use of technology. Jonathan Ford, chief executive of the Football Association of Wales, said: "I was worried that you would end up with a stop-start situation where you review all decisions and I don't see that as part of the game." Again, the cost of implementing TV replays would be vast, especially to leagues where there isn’t much TV coverage.
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Also, this may sound a bit masochistic, but I like debating some of the human errors, even when they go against my team. I think the game would be much less fun if there weren’t a few mistakes to talk about.
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What FIFA has actually done to address this problem is announce they are expanding the trial of using extra officials behind the goals, with a view to using this system at the 2014 World Cup. This has been used in the Europa League this season and has been pretty successful.
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Before anyone argues that training and employing these extra officials will be just as expensive as implementing the technology, remember that extra officials would have to be trained anyway to man the TV replays so it’s a moot point. This system despite being in place already never gets mentioned as a solution.
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I like the extra official idea. Incidents like the Lampard one today are pretty rare, but contentious penalty incidents where the referee ends up getting surrounded happen far more often. The extra official can help with that, where a goal-line sensor cannot.
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It’s not often I agree with Michel Platini, and it’s even rarer that I agree with Sepp Blatter, but I think that it is correct that technology is rejected, at least until there’s a more coherent idea of what it is and how it will be used. I think for now, the best solution is the extra official behind the goal.
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What do you think?