Read football writers’ views on goal line technology from around the web in this article originally published on the SoccerStore.
“The best thing about goal line technology is that it eases pressure on match officials. Too many referees have had absurd media exposure or been subject to fan fury just because of simple human error. The worst is that pundits such as the adjective deficient Alan Shearer (“That was a really, really Aston Villa goal”) will have even less to say. And in reality, terribly unfair decisions are a huge part of what make the game so hilarious or heartbreaking – depending on your perspective of course.”
Editor and Content Manager
What happens between 3pm and 5pm each Saturday (and all kinds of times around the week depending on the competition), can lead to heated debates that rumble on until the next game and a lot of it is down to the element of human error.
“Football is a low scoring sport where a single goal can make the difference between victory and defeat. That’s why it’s so vital that the correct decision is made on the single most important question in football – has a goal been scored or not. It’s up to individual sports to determine how best to innovate but this experiment with goal-line technology feels long overdue. The tech has been proven in other sports and the near instant feedback shouldn’t undermine either the legitimacy of the referee or the flow of the game”
Head of Communications
A goal that is given when the linesman should’ve raised the flag for offside, or the opposite, is often debated for hours on end using all kinds of technology in the television studios and the same decision is then discussed in pubs, offices and schools across the country.
“Goal-line technology can be the solution of routine controversial goals, those rejected by referees and linesmen. In the past some unintentional rejected goals led some teams to be eliminated from tournaments or lose important points in league games. Goal-line technology can produce a new way of justice in football and it can be helpful for referees and the opponents.”
Tahlil Olad Hassan
The same happens when a goal isn’t allowed when the ball has seemed to cross the line, you only have to think about the jubilation surrounding Sir Geoff Hurst’s goal in the 1966 World Cup Final; the uproar when Roy Carroll dropped Pedro Mendes’ shot into his own net at Old Trafford; or when Frank Lampard struck the under side of the crossbar against Germany in the 2010 World Cup with the score at 2-1, (and England fans all know what happened from there…) However, things are about to change dramatically and many are somewhat unsure as to whether it’s for the good of the game or just to get the decisions right.
“We should embrace goal-line technology whole-heartedly. Incidents like Pedro Mendes versus Manchester United and Frank Lampard at the last World Cup are far from common occurrences, but when these do happen a sense of injustice clouds the sport. As I understand it, referees are welcoming technology. It remains to be seen whether it is subsequently used to call tight offside decisions. For the moment we must content ourselves with determining goals. Traditionalists argue limply that human error is part of the game. No person should outwardly take pride in making mistakes. Here’s hoping the introduction of technology is vindicated this season.”
Editor, The Football Reporter
Sure, we all want referees to make the correct decisions all of the time, but do we want them at the expense of talking points in the pub afterwards or in the office the next day? Grass roots football has always been controversial with many an argument as to whether the ball has gone between the jumpers used for goalposts or whether it’s gone over the invisible crossbar.
The Hawk-Eye system will be rolled out across grounds in the UK from the opening day of the Premier League season with it already introduced for the Community Shield clash between Manchester United and Wigan Athletic at Wembley. The system will feature 14 different cameras, all of which will be working to establish whether or not the ball has crossed the line, sending a message to the referee on a special watch and through an ear-piece within a second. The delay is one thing that many fans were worried about with similar technologies being used in cricket and rugby taking several minutes to make a decision. It’s first use in the Premier League was in the Chelsea vs Hull City match where Branislav Ivanovic’s header was shown to have not crossed the line and the live and television audiences were shown the system first hand.
“I’m all for any technology that is instant and doesn’t interrupt the flow of the game. However, imagine Scotland v England at Hampden. Rooney hits the deck inside the area in the last minute. The referee plays on, Scotland go up the pitch and score, and Hampden goes wild. All of a sudden the referee gets a word in his ear “We’ve watched a replay, it’s a penalty, you’ll need to disallow the goal and give a penalty to England. There’d be a riot. Goal-line technology, sure. Anything else and we’re straying into a dangerous area.”
While it’s true that the new system will ensure that there are no more events such as those involving Carroll, Lampard and Hurst, you can’t help feeling as though we’re going to be losing a part of the game we all love. The excitement comes from mistakes made by match officials, and while we all hate them when they go against our side with a goal incorrectly ruled out or a goal not being given, when they go our way we can’t help feeling somewhat reprieved.
If the new system does prove to be a success, and there are no reasons why it shouldn’t work technically, with so many cameras working to ensure the goals are given if the ball does cross the line, you have to wonder just how much technology will become a part of the game. Imagine the possibility that in a few years time players are forced to wear something on their boot that is read by another piece of technology in the ball and linked to the referee’s watch allowing them to establish who got the final touch on the ball when it comes to giving a contentious goal kick or corner, or even whether the defender got a touch on the ball when an attacker goes down inside the box. Before long we could be at a stage in the game where the elite are playing with a referee that stands in the centre circle blowing the whistle when he’s told to and looking more like a traffic policeman pointing where appropriate than actually officiating the game. Do we really want that scenario to become reality?
With the new football season officially underway, we’re all waiting with baited breath to see how the introduction of goal line technology affects the game. One of the best things about the beautiful game is the talking points that are created from 90-minutes of kicking a ball around. The new Hawk-Eye system could change all that, so here we talk about this new technology and also look at the opinions of some of our sport’s top bloggers and tweeters. We’re also really interested to hear what you think, so please let us know at the bottom of the post!
“From my viewpoint it’s plain and simple – goal line technology is a must. The system that has been implemented looks 100% foolproof, and that being the case there’s no reason to be swayed against for romantic purposes. At the end of the day, human error is something that all traditional football fans have a liking for, however, it’s change that emits the greatest fear among the footballing landscape. I for one, would be absolutely gutted if my team were wrongly disallowed a goal that could propel them to a Champions League qualification position or even clinch them a trophy. With that in mind it’s unequivocal, let’s change with the times and use the technology at our disposal.”
Adrian Houghton, Managing Editor
Before long we’ll see Hawk-Eye taking on further responsibility, and even the traffic policeman could be redundant and we’ll have ice hockey-style buzzers going off when the ball goes in the goal or out of play; small microphones in the players kit so that dissent can be picked up and Hawk-eye even being used to ensure that the ball is placed on the precise spot where the foul occurred to prevent players from encroaching – also making sure that the wall is ten yards from the free-kick taker and sounding an alarm around the stadium when a player is offside.
“With goal line technology coming in to play its only going to question the consistency of other decisions made on the pitch. How long until there is a camera following players off the ball and players getting sent off for an incident the referee missed or even a dive camera? Goal line technology seems to be the gateway for the rest of the game to be over policed. Whilst I am all for consistent decisions on the field. I don’t want to see the pace of the game change due to officials referring to a video replay for every decision.
Adam from www.perfecthattrick.co.uk
We don’t want all that! We want talking points, we want drama, we want last minute goals coming from defenders who could’ve been sent off earlier in the game who are up meeting a corner that should have been a goal kick. Football is as much about the drama and excitement as it is about the winning and losing and while technology could be beneficial in some respects, it could be highly detrimental in a number of others.
“The technology is there, let’s use it, to reject it on the grounds of “this would never have happened in my day” is the kind of thinking that holds back all progress.”
The staff at nuts.co.uk
“I think it’s great that goal line technology has eventually been introduced to Premier League football and hope that the rest of the UEFA nations along with FIFA do the same as soon as possible for the benefit of everyone at top level competitions.
However, this I am of the firm opinion that this is where it should stop as goals are definite in football unlike fouls etc which can be decided at the referees own interpretation.”
Goal line technology has been used in other sports for years, football being the obvious next candidate. Following the incident of the 2010 World Cup, England fans became all for the new technology, but there do seem to be some possible issues. As linesman have less and less influence in the modern game, Goal Line technology may well be their replacement, but FIFA feel if used in one place it is needed everywhere. While emphasizing the use of quality referees, they may not like the idea, but it is the next step for football around the world.
The introduction of technology in football has been a much discussed topic in the recent past and there are compelling points on both sides of the argument. The full scope of technology’s potential use in football is nowhere close to being resolved but the inclusion of goal line technology is a big step towards increasing its influence. I’m for goal line technology simply because with reliable technology, there’s no grey area i.e. either the whole of the ball has crossed the line or it hasn’t unlike say the handball rule which requires direct human judgement. Thus, if reliablility is maintained I’m definitely in favour of goal line technology.
Editor, Outside of the Boot