There should be no room for errors in modern-day football.
Let’s face it, sport is a multi-billion dollar industry where errors can be much more costly than a trip to the moon. This also explains why games such as tennis, cricket and rugby rely heavily on technology to corroborate some of the critical decisions made by match referees. With football being the world’s most popular sport and one of the most lucrative, it simply boggles the mind why its administrators haven’t yet taken advantage of modern-day technologies.
Fifa President Sepp Blatter hinted as far back as in 2010 at the World Cup in South Africa that the sport needed goal-line technology. At the time, a monitor at the Free State stadium had showed an instant replay confirming that English striker Frank Lampard’s shot had crossed the German goal line but a goal was not given by match officials. Although Blatter had spoken against goal-line technology before, he changed his tune after the incident.
The debate has just reared its ugly head again and spoiled yet another high-profile game in Donetsk, Ukraine, where the hosts were up against England in the Euro 2012. Marko Devic’s strike had crossed the English goal line but was not given during the Tuesday encounter (19 June). It’s disappointing that Fifa waited for another huge error to be committed before considering the implementation of monitor referral. The consequences of the referring error were so grave that Ukraine exited the tournament on a rather sour note.
However, Michel Platini – who is said to be next in line as Fifa’s most powerful man after Blatter has retired – believes technology will take all the fun away from football. “Goal-line technology isn't a problem. The problem is the arrival of technology because, after, you'll need technology for deciding handballs and then for offside decisions and so on. It'll be like that forever and ever,” Platini warned.
Blatter, on the hand, is hoping to convince the sport’s rulers, the International Football Association Board, to give technology the green light. Surely, it’s about time…