Goal-line technology finally looks to have been given the green light, and, not surprisingly, Michel Platini still hates the idea. He’s given his reasons, fair enough. Although, as the head of Uefa he’s got a good platform to voice his displeasure at football finally catching up with the rest of the sporting world. If he were in any other seat, I’m sure his opinions would be brushed under the carpet. Where they belong.
Goal-line technology is a must; Frank Lampard knows it, Pedro Mendes knows and so on and so forth. But should there be fear that the call for technology will eventually be forced into other areas of the game, perhaps unnecessarily?
At this stage, there seems very little use for the word “unnecessary” and the need for technology in the game. The majority of other sports, both in Britain and abroad, use technology to stamp out wrong calls and controversy from their games. For all purposes of those sports, it is necessary.
But as football leaders have been warning us of the evils that may come with technology, there is a need to look at how it will benefit other aspects of the game. It’s an injustice that a team can be relegated, as Bolton were last season, off the back of poor officiating. Ok, that one was again a need for cameras on the goal-line. But what about Andrey Arshavin’s goal against Sunderland a couple of seasons ago which was wrongly ruled as offside? The game may be slowed down, but it is for the better. There’s no sense in a team having a perfectly good goal chalked off in a tight game purely because a linesman is too slow to keep up with the game.
And that’s one of the main arguments. At least it should be. The human eye and the (useless, perhaps) officials are simply too slow to keep up with the speed of the game. Goal decisions may be saved by that camera which eventually takes up it’s rightful place inside the goal (or wherever it is they put it) but what about all the other calls officials get wrong. Penalties, bookable offences.
But people, and specifically the leaders of the football world, continue to spout their nonsense about the game being slowed down and the excitement taken away. Lets just take that “excitement” angle out for a moment; the performances of Lionel Messi or Borussia Dortmund, for example, is all the excitement I need when looking for a good game. NHL games are regularly stopped in order to review a decision. The extensive review of a play often comes down to goal decisions and incidents where players are seriously injured. As funny as it may be and no matter where the game is played in North America, the officials halt play, use a phone to call the NHL headquarters in Toronto, Canada and are given the final decision. Now you can’t say fairer than that.
Although, this issue of going over the same topic in articles, via pundits or in a pub may be lost. Oh well, Sepp Blatter will just have to go without one of the “talking points” that makes this sport so great. A disgusting remark, by the way. I’m sure Bolton aren’t looking at it from the perspective of a “talking point.”
But other sports have just highlighted how technology can be used effectively and fairly in other parts of their games. It may be too early to start pushing our luck by insisting technology be used for more than just goal-line incidents, but there is absolutely a need for it to spread to other aspects of the game somewhere in the future.
Should we be scared that the game will be slowed down, the excitement released from the sails and the attacking momentum of a team halted? Yeah, why not. But only if you’re against fair decisions playing a part in a final score-line.