Do more harm to football than good?

The debate regarding goal line technology was, once again, brought racing to fore this weekend following Clint Hill’s goal that never was. Despite the ball crossing the line by at least a yard, nothing was given leaving Mark Hughes reeling in anger, calling for changes in the ruling of the game. Yet an introduction of technology to detect such issues may well be the worst thing that could happen to football.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not against the idea of goal line cameras, as if the ball crosses the line a goal should be given, end of. But to start tampering with the rules of the game with the introduction of such methods could prove detrimental to the spectacle as a whole.

My fear with the introduction of such devices is that the floodgates would open, leading to the analyzing of each decision within a single game. Critics of this will point out the success of other sports and technology, such as Rugby Union and Tennis, where the use of such facilities is limited purely to a few instances. However, this may not be the cast in football, where the media circus will surely lead to calls for reviews on fouls and offsides. It may be a little unfair to belittle interest in other sports, but it’s hard to deny that the focus from the press on football heavily outweighs that of any other, with the game enjoyed across the globe by almost all areas of society.

If we eventually end up at the stage where each decision is made with a robotic sense of accuracy the viewing of football will suffer. There is very little else football fans enjoy more than a debate, arguing our points of view on any aspect, no matter how trivial, of an individual game. If decisions are always correct, this element will be removed, and interest will be lost in the game.

As well as the ruthless efficiency that will be brought to the table, there will also have to be interruptions in matches. Even watching a game with a whistle happy referee is frustrating, as the play is constantly broken down with no flow being achieved by either side. So to have a review system of individual decisions would be even more detrimental, with the amount of time it would take to assess each incident. If any of you have watched a full game of American Football, you will know how the stop-start nature of the game can lead to a little tedium, with the action broken up far too regularly. Although such decisions can be rationed with x amount of ‘challenges’ allowed, the spectacle of football will be effected to a greater extent than almost any other sport.

Nobody likes to see teams punished by mistakes, but it may be a necessary aspect of the game as 100% accuracy will serve to be even more damaging. Evolution is always needed, but to open the door to technology could be perhaps the most dangerous change ever made to the game. I know many will disagree with my stance and call me a footballing caveman refusing to get with the time and accept that advances are needed, but technology could ultimately prove to be the downfall.

Can anybody recall the myth of Pandora’s box? Let that serve as warning to the introduction of video technology to football.

What are your thoughts? Comment or follow @Alex_Hams to have your say

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