There are many areas of football that are discussed and disputed at length; Should diving be punished more stringently? Is tackling a dying art? Is football becoming a non-contact sport? The list goes on… One aspect that has finally been given the green light to be implemented at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is goal-line technology. We have all witnessed goals being giving when they never crossed the line and goals being disallowed when in fact they have crossed the line. Is this inconsistent and – at the end of the day – wrong decision-making good for the game as it provokes discussion or would it ultimately be better for the correct decision to be made as the wrong decision tends to cost teams money and silverware?
BY Tom Wilde – @TWilde91
This week it was announced that FIFA will implement goal line technology for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This was welcomed by many fans, players and pundits alike. Many of whom have argued the case for the technology for years now.
The idea is that the technology will alert the referee the very second that the ball has crossed the line, indicating a goal. This will put an end to the, “was it over the line?” debate. Frank Lampard will remember his ball having crossed the line, by quite some distance, against Germany in the 2010 World Cup, only for the referee to wave play on. Roy Carroll won’t be able to get away with any like he did against Pedro Mendes way back in 2005, clawing the ball out from deep into the net, the linesman somehow missed it and didn’t award the goal. And Jose Mourinho still won’t let up about Luis Garcia’s infamous ‘ghost goal’ that cost his Chelsea side a place in the Champions League final.
Football is full of examples of situations that would have panned out very different indeed, had goal line technology been around. The benefit of technology being introduced is there for all to see, no one can dispute that. Football is a billion pound game now, teams could theoretically be cost millions and millions of pounds if a decision goes against them wrongly. However, one fear is that the introduction of this technology will set a precedent. A precedent that will allow governing bodies to change the rules of the game to point where it is almost unrecognisable. A game that is one day fully refereed using technology is more than feasible.
One thing that will be lost in the game with the introduction of goal line technology is the controversy that comes with a wrong decision. One of the best aspects of the game is a fans ability to discuss, debate and bicker about it. If there are no dubious decisions, it takes a little bit of the fun out of football. Let’s not forget also that incidents like those listed above help sell newspapers and stories. Will anyone rush to read about a correct decision?
Another part of football that is going through change is the art of defending. Hard tackles are now being outlawed, regardless of winning the ball cleanly or not, they are often being met with a booking. Quite often when watching football, you see brilliant tackles punished. The art of tackling is dying. Simulation is another issue. Occurring now in most games, whether it’s a dive to try win a foul or a player exaggerating how badly they are hurt. For several years now many people have passed comment on how football is starting to become a non-contact sport. No hard tackles and more simulation is definitely adding to these fears. Players must be scared to tackle, for fear of being dismissed. While a fully blown non-contact game is very unlikely, it certainly is a worry for lovers of the game. One of the greatest things in football is a tackle that wins the ball while “leaving a bit” on the player. No one is condoning a dangerous tackle, but there isn’t anything wrong with going in hard if you win the ball.
Graham Hunter made a comment on Sky Sports’ Revista De La Liga regarding a yellow card gained by Sergio Ramos “If we’re going to have that, then football is a non-contact sport and we may as well play it in tutus.” An off the cuff comment, it still tells a tale of what is happening in many games nowadays. The unfortunate thing about this type of thing is that it doesn’t seem to be going away either. More players have been booked for simulation this season, but only when trying to win fouls. I’d like to see players rolling around booked too. If referees were to get tough and clamp down on it then perhaps it could be stopped to a certain extent.
Certainly, more people are happy than sad about the announcement of goal line technology. While I am someone who would rather it wasn’t introduced, I can definitely see the benefit; financially, a mistake can now cost a team a lot of money. Hopefully this isn’t the beginning of something bigger and the game will be the same fantastic, beautiful one that people have enjoyed for generations.
Many a decision has been disputed over generations of football with regards to the ball having crossed the line. In modern times, the television cameras can spot almost anything that happens on the pitch, it has become glaringly obvious on occasions when decisions have cost teams points and money. Is goal line technology a positive advancement in the world of football? Tweet us your thoughts @talkingbaws or comment below.