Technology in the Game

Posted on August 1, 2010 by

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It seems like a lifetime ago that Jerome Valcke, the general secretary of FIFA, admitted that Goal line technology was back on the agenda.

Remember that big fancy tournament that they put on for us – with the vuvuzelas and that crazy fan with the pot on his head, remember boring old conservative Spain pacing themselves to the final only to walk even slower to victory, remember the commotion of England going out in almost clichéd fashion to the German’s with the help of a disallowed goal, only to be out sung by the fight talk afterwards from FIFA’s corridor’s of power that this type of injustice would last no longer and something would be done.Yeh?

Well FIFA probably wont, which im not sure is exactly a bad thing.

”Consistency” is the golden word in this sport and unfortunately its exactly what FIFA aren’t. Their constant wavering between decisions, seems to depend on how much coverage a cheeky lob from Lampard gets in the media, or how much Platini’s recent manifesto on ‘saving the game’ has alienated the general punter from the beautiful games officiating body.

This sport cries out for a governing body that’s not only fair across the entire board, but has the sports best interests at heart, an institution – a religion to some. Not a corporation that’s single goal is to create wealth from the very events its supposed to be governing.

Im not arguing that changes don’t have to be made, theirs obviously something that has to be done to accommodate errors in the game. We live in an age where the men on the field cant hide from the camera so its imperative that any mistakes on the field are dealt with.

But why goal line technology, why does it have to be something that passes the blame? Maybe an extra referee who watches the game on a screen who’s whispering into the referee’s ear would be an interesting inclusion, but the day Eagle Eye is used to solve 4 or 5 decisions in a game, is the day the sport changes forever. Im of the old impression that half the enjoyment of football is the drama of it all, that titles are still won, not on how much you spend, but your luck on the day.

Most people would just be happy with FIFA being a little more genuine and honest about things, i’d much rather if the referee was allowed to be interviewed after the game and could just say ‘ i thought it was a penalty when i saw it, i’ve seen it again and its not, I did my best.’

It brings the referee back into the position that he used to be as the unbiased punter who did his best to keep the game flowing and call a decision if he had to. Instead of having the decision watched from 20 different angles and Howard Webb or Mike Reilly having to lock all their doors & windows in fear every Saturday night before they sit down to Dancing On Ice.

Football is a sport that is dictated by money, more and more, by the day. These new plans are nothing but fail safes, to make sure the money invested, definitely gets the results. FIFA are supposed to be a governing body that fight that transformation . Unfortunately, it doesnt, and with this recent outburst by Valcke it seems that they’ve gone for the old motto ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.

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