The debate about goal-line technology in football has been rumbling for years now, and the events already in the Euros – specifically the Ukraine’s wrongly disallowed goal against England – have ensured that it is set to remain high on the agenda.
Already notorious FIFA President Sepp Blatter has stated on Twitter that such technology is now “a necessity.” However although the opinions of Sepp Blatter usually offer a reliable radar for any intelligent football fan
– by reminding them that they should think precisely the opposite – on this occasion the fact that Blatter believes something shouldn’t automatically lead the rest of us to dismiss it.
There have been more and more high profile wrong decisions in Premiership matches over the last few years that suggest it should be seriously considered.
Although there were a number of different goal-line technologies proposed, only two of them – Goalref and Hawkeye actually made it to the final stages of testing, with the Hawkeye system being very similar to that currently employed in tennis.
The first major Premiership incident that led to calls for the use of such technology occurred in a match between Manchester United and Tottenham, in which a shot from Tottenham midfielder Pedro Mendes clearly crossed the line before being scooped away by United ‘keeper Roy Carroll – but the ‘goal’ was not given.
It could be argued that mistakes of this kind are no more prevalent in football now than before, and that the greater awareness of them is simply down to the fact that media coverage of football games in more intense than it was in the past – when many games never even appeared on television. Furthermore it is the amount of money involved in the Premiership, and the financial margins in winning or losing that is behind much of the clamour – issues which arguably take football further away from being a sport. On the other hand, it is also important to consider the impact on supporters – for whom it can mean the difference between survival and the pain of relegation.
Rebecca Smith is a freelance sports writer, with football as her favourite sport. She has used www.bwin.com for most of her bets during the 2012 Euro games.