Goal line technology to lose Football’s unpredictability?


*By Omar Al Raisi at @Dantani

World Cup 2010 in South Africa when Frank Lampard was denied an equalizer for England against Germany, when the ball hit the bar and bounced over the line but no goal was given, it sparked a global debate on the need for goal-line technology.

That incident caused the Fifa president Sepp Blatter to publicly back technology for the first time, and the issue hit the headlines again when Ukraine were denied a goal when the ball crossed the line against England in Euro 2012.

“For me as FIFA president it became evident the moment what happened in South Africa in 2010” said Blatter.
“I have to say ‘thank you Lampard’. I was completely down in South Africa when I saw that it really shocked me, it took me a day to react. It happened again in Ukraine, and Ukraine can still not believe it now,” he said.

There will be no move towards bringing in other technology, such as video replays to judge offside’s for example, said IFAB in a statement.

But it is inevitable and clubs around the world and FAs will eventually demand it, as linesmans’ throughout different top football leagues regularly miss offside decisions which costs the team unfairly.

The International football’s FA board (IFAB) has unanimously approved the use of goal-line technology after months of exhaustive tests were carried out on two systems – Hawk-Eye and GoalRef.

Meanwhile, FIFA intends to put Hawk-Eye and GoalRef to the test at the Club World Cup in Tokyo in 2013, with a view to using it at next year’s Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Each system has its own technological approach. Hawk-Eye relies on six cameras, coupled with software that triangulates the precise position of the ball.

GoalRef, on the other hand, simply shoves a microchip inside the ball. Rather, thanks to low magnetic waves around the goal, it monitors for any change in the magnetic field on or behind the goal line.

In each case, the process takes about a second and a signal is sent to one of the officials.

Those who truly adore football will be delighted to hear that the English Premier League — known for its fast pace, English passion and largely non-English players — is reportedly keen to quickly sign up for one or both of these technologies.

Moreover, if the Club World Cup experiment goes well, there is talk of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil enjoying goal-line technology.

I understand that Football is the only sport which doesn’t use technology, for example Tennis which relies on the hawk-eye technology helps their game in a big way. The goal-line technology will surely help the referees’ to take the correct decisions but there are still fans that prefer football to be kept simple without any technology, this includes myself and UEFA president Michel Platini.

Football is the most beautiful and best sport in the world; it’s that thrill, unpredictability to it which makes people call it ‘the beautiful game’. Decisions go for you or against you and I believe that is what makes it very exciting.
Will football lose its unpredictability, that thrill and all human approach by the introduction of goal-line technology? Maybe I don’t know but it will help the sport for sure.

I don’t believe there is an immediate need for it to be used in the UAE Pro League games.


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