Now goal line tech is inevitable?
Mr Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, the Fifa president, has stated via Twitter that goal line technology is now “inevitable.”
This comes in the light of the England vs Ukraine Euro 2012 game in which television cameras showed quite clearly that the ball had crossed the line despite the best efforts of England defender John Terry to clear it in time.
This prompts the obvious and inevitable question – why has it taken so long?
Why do we have to wait for something to go wrong to make changes?
Why can’t we be proactive instead of being reactive?
There is clearly a need for this kind of assistance to aid the unfortunate men-in-black. They are being asked to make decisions from impossible positions regarding goal line incidents.
Let’s get one thing straight here. Match officials are not machines. They are not cheetahs. They cannot keep up that close to play to see everything that is going on. For the most part they are decent, honest, and hard-working individuals doing a very difficult job and many of them take their job seriously.
Yes there will be one or two who will bring the game into disrepute by associating with unscrupulous individuals but thankfully they are in a very small minority
Not so long ago players played a hard but fair game. The ref gave his decision and it was accepted. Today the hardness is gone and the fairness is definitely gone.
Perhaps this is inevitable since there is so much at stake.
The amount of money riding on the result of a game is mind boggling. I believe there is a winning mentality among players, club officials and, to some extent, the supporters at large.
They want to win at all costs and players are prepared to do whatever it takes to win. If that means cheating in the process, then so be it.
Fifa introduced the AARs (additional assistant referees – these are the guys who stand near the goal line and are perfectly positioned to see if the ball has crossed the goal line or not).
Their only duty is to keep an eye on the ball. They have one or two other duties but nothing major other than to see if the WHOLE of the ball has crossed the goal line between the uprights and under the cross bar.
All of that came unstuck last week in the Euro 2012 Tournament when the AAR, despite being only five or six metres from the incident, couldn’t determine whether the ball had crossed the goal line or not.
The irony here is that, because he was in that particular position, he was actually blocking the assistant referee with the flag who would normally call the shots on this type of incident.
Was it incompetence, bad judgement or panic that overwhelmed him? I don’t know. The bottom line is, he gave lots of “ammunition” to detractors who say there is no need for these guys in the first place.
Unfortunately the entire refereeing team, who were from Hungary, were sent home after that.
A decision is to be made next month (July) as to which system of goal line technology will be used. This will, presumably, do away with the AARs and one of them will be dispatched upstairs to view a monitor and a decision can then be made and communicated to the referee on the field.
The sooner this happens the better for all concerned. My only worry is – will this open a can of worms and bring into focus all the other things that are wrong with the game like, players diving, feigning injury, trying to get their fellow professionals booked or sent off, questioning red and yellow cards and their legitimacy? Watch this space.
Contact me with questions on all matters refereeing at the addresses below
Dr. Errol Sweeney