Goal-line Technology? My Solution Is Better!

Goal-line Technology has now been confirmed to be introduced to the Premier League from next season, with British-based firm Hawk Eye has been comissioned to install the systems into stadiums around the country.

The system will use 7 cameras per goal around the stadium where it is installed, and Hawk Eye is confident that there has never been a goal-line incident where none of the cameras would have seen whether the ball has crossed the line or not. So this would be the final word on whether a team has or hasn’t scored.

Fifa President Sepp Blatter, stated that Frank Lampard’s “ghost goal” in the 2012 World Cup was decisive in making the decision to approve goal-line technology systems to use in football.

Strangely though, only last month Uefa President Michel Platini stated:

“I prefer to put more money into youth football and infrastructure than spend it on technology when there’s a goal in a blue moon that hasn’t been seen by a referee.

“It would cost around 54 million euros (£46m) over five years for this technology, so it’s quite expensive for the sort of mistake which happens once every 40 years.

“In the Champions League, I’m very happy with the results (of a five-man team). Practically no mistakes have been made and the referees see practically everything that happens on the pitch.”

Which clearly shows Platini is a complete idiot.

Firstly, these incidents are quite rare, but hardly once in a blue moon. Secondly, claiming that the five-man refereeing team “practically makes no mistakes” is ludicrous. It is commonly accepted that the two extra assistant referees behind the goal line are completly useless and only serve as decoration. The two goals in the recent Borussia Dortmund versus Malaga game show that they serve no purpose whatsoever. They’re a joke and completely pointless.

So goal-line technology would bring some justice to decisions where a goal has been unjustly given or not given, which can have a massive bearing in a football match.

But while this is a welcome step forward, is it the right move?

One of the problems I have with football, is that there are incorrect decisions which make a massive difference. Of course, every football club has been a victim of poor and sometimes disgraceful decisions and by the same token they would have also benefited from some as well.

But football is the most popular sport in the world, and they should be pioneers in terms of advances in technology and ideas when it comes to sport. Rugby, Cricket and Tennis are miles ahead of us, and have less money invested in the sport.

One of the arguments against using technology was that it underminded the influence of the referee. But that is flawed because it can clearly be used to help get decisions right. Another argument is that in grass roots football, you wouldn’t have technology so you would have to rely on the decision of the referee anyway.

So why use goal-line technology? Why not do something much easier.

My idea (which I’m sure others have had) would be to use a panel of 3 “assistant referees” (or whatever you want to call them) looking at a TV monitor on the sidelines. Each football team would have “3 appeals” during the match – it could be to dispute a goal given due to offside, a tackle in the box where a penalty has been awarded, a player diving to gain a freekick or penalty, a nasty tackle or an off the ball incident.

Once a team lodges one of their appeals (they only have 3 to use in the 90 minutes) then it would go to the 3 assistant referees. They would then vote on which way the decision should go (after only taking 15/20 seconds to make that decision) and then the majority rules. No ifs or buts, a secondary decision has been made and is final. It doesn’t matter if the incident isn’t clear cut, the opinion is final. It is not 100% but it wouldn’t be far off, and would elimate a lot of clearly dodgy decisions that are made by referees.

And this would hardly disrupt a football match, as each side only has 3 appeals and it would clean up the game.

The players would only appeal unless they really thought a decision was wrong as they would be using up one of their appeals. It would cut out cheating and all of the negative parts of the game, and promote fair play. You would have players like Suarez and Ronaldo thinking twice about diving to get an unfair advantage.

Which player would want to look stupid to the world by “appealing” against a blatantly obvious decision, or wasting one of the three they have?

And it would also mean that it wouldn’t affect grass roots football, as the decisions are still ultimately made by people, not machines. In lower leagues you would still have officials making the decisions. All they are doing is using television pictures (if they are available) to help aid their judgement on key incidents.

Apart from the injustices you see on the football pitch, it would also help to address the stupid situation where footballers can commit atrocious and career-threatening tackles, and get away with it because of this ridiculous retrospective ruling. It would take the power away from the FA Panel and allow referees to issue appropriate punishments at the time. For example, in the recent Wigan v Newcastle match, where Callum McManaman almost took off Massaido Haidara’s leg, he would have got a red card and been sent off which would have been the correct decision.

People talk about this crap about having “nothing to talk about in the pub” and losing banter when watching a match but that is not something I’m bothered about. We currently live in a world where there’s so much media around football it’s suffocating. So not having certain things to talk about would be welcomed by me. I know the football media would be upset about that because they would struggle to have rubbish to talk about, but that’s not a bad thing.

Football is entertaining enough when two teams try and win a football match and there’s always more important things to analyse, such as tactics and performances of the players. And you still get mental players like Joey Baron and Mario Balotelli if you need your fix of “controversy”.

I would rather have a game where the sports was a fair as it could be, and there was less controversy. Maybe teams like Manchester United, who as we know get a lot of decisions, wouldn’t necessarily agree, but for me it would be for the good of the game.


2 thoughts on “Goal-line Technology? My Solution Is Better!

  1. Your 3 decisions idea is ill-conceived and not though through. Which player would make the decision? And what if another player disagreed with that players’ decision – and what if the manager disagreed with a player or players making that decision, surely they would want some input. There would be no time to discuss between them whether to make a decision or not, if the decision looked dodgy one team would try and quickly restart play. As you can imagine, before long it would all be a big mess. And what about games that pass without incident? Teams would start using up their 3 decisions in injury time for nonsensical reasons just to waste time – it would be farcical.


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