Goal-line technology is something that the world of football has been debating for years. Fans have cried and moaned about the need for technology, and have cited recent examples of ‘ghost goals’ (such as Lampard’s blatant goal against Germany in the 2010 World Cup) as evidence for technology to be introduced into football. Finally fans have got their wish and goal line technology will be used in this seasons Premier League. This is one of the biggest changes to football in years, and we are setting foot into a new era of football. But is technology a positive step forward for football?
Yes, I understand that goal-line technology can be a good thing, it will eliminate human error. In what can be potentially season defining games, a correct decision can be what keeps you up in a division or sends you down, it could be the difference between winning the title or coming second. A correct decision which helps you win the game, can also help gather momentum in a season. However, there is a point where it should be stopped. I think that the introduction of technology should not alter the naturally fast paced ebb and flow of the game. We have goal line technology now, brilliant, but soon fans will take this for granted and they will cry out for human error to be taken out of offside decisions, and then once that has been created, we will ask for more such as foul replays building up to goals, at which point it will alter the pace of the game.
Another point I feel is that technology, the way it is at the moment, may favour some teams over others. Let me give an example of this. On the last day of the season, Crystal Palace are playing Hull at home, Crystal Palace need a win to stay up, whereas Hull only need a point to survive. Glenn Murray has a shot, it hits the post dribbles on the line, a Hull defender clears. Ian Holloway screams for a goal. The referee correctly gives the goal, as cameras show that it indeed crossed the line. It is 1-0 to Crystal Palace in injury time, we’re into the dying moments of the game, and Crystal Palace fans are shouting to the referee to blow the whistle. Meanwhile, Tom Huddlestone has put Danny Graham in with a chance of scoring, and Danny Graham smashes it home into the top corner (unlikely, I know) to save Hull from relegation. But the linesman has called for offside, and the goal is disallowed. The final result is 1-0 to Palace and they survive relegation. However the TV camera replays shows Danny Graham to be onside, meaning that the goal should have counted, and Hull should have survived rather than Palace. This would be a case where technology is bad, as the technology was there to help Crystal Palace with their goal, but there was no technology in place to help Hull with their goal. Obviously, the next season we have offside replays to help referees make decisions, but then fans will say “we have technology for both goal-line and offside decisions, why let other crucial errors go unnoticed?” This is when we introduce replays for fouls, and by then the game will have completely changed. Will this make football more enjoyable? I am not convinced.
A footballing philosophy that many agree with has always been that decisions ‘even themselves out over a season or over the greater course.’ A lost penalty here, a gained penalty there. And when there is a wrong call, does it stop us from continuing to follow the game? Do we refuse to turn up again the next week?
I feel that football could end up being as disrupted as American football. Teams will have a number of referrals, abused by a winning side to simply break up the momentum of play. This could drain the excitement and drama of football, that makes it so appealing for a worldwide audience. I think this is why goal-line technology should scare you. It should scare you because it has essentially just opened a whole new world to football, and there is no knowing what is going to come out of it.
Please comment below what you think about technology being introduced into football.