Football needs to step into the technological age

Football has both evolved and revolutionised, which has seen the change in the beautiful game, but we still have the old debate of whether the ball did or didn’t cross the line, it has been long overdue that football introduced goal line technology.

This debate has occurred ever since the ‘did it, didn’t it cross the line’, which was sparked by Geoff Hurst’s second goal in the 1966 World Cup Final. The argument for or against goal line technology has rarely been out of the headlines in football surely in 21st century football should step into the technological age. Would technological advancement in football further advance the beautiful game? But people also seem to forget that football isn’t a science it’s a game.

Goal line technology could be used in Premier League as early as next season according to the FA. General Secretary of the FA, Alex Horne argued that the laws governing football are likely to change if one or more of the systems which are currently being tested are successful;

Goal line technology would be a huge boost for the game. For years, we’ve thought this was a good addition to referees’ armory.

Does this mean we could see goal – line technology in the Premier League by as early as next season? Nine systems are currently under review by an independent testing authority employed by FIFA. A final decision is expected to be made in July 2012. 

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has revealed that at least two goal line technology systems have proved themselves to be fast and accurate and could be in place for next World Cup in 2014 in Brazil. This would see football taking a step into the technological age which other sports such as Tennis and Rugby all ready are equipped with hawk – eye camera technology which allows no room for human error. Surely football as the most popular sport in the world needs to advance and goal – line technology is the only way forward. Video technology in football would probably see the end of the main talking points on MOTD or in the local pub; did the referee make the correct decision with the awarding of controversial penalty or did the ball cross the line? However it would advance football further and referees would be less criticised by the managers, fans or the media. Surely the use of video technology in football is long overdue and can only lead to benefits and see in turn the further advancement of football into the technological age.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who is firm believer in goal line technology in football argued;

The sooner they bring it in the better and the sooner they go further, the better. I have always been a big fan of goal-line technology. The concern is, of course, the technology can make mistakes but still statistically we will improve a lot. Overall, we all have in our memories situations where we thought technology would have stopped an injustice, so let’s go for it as soon as possible.

The introduction of video technology in football would take the mounted pressure on referees who are criticised on weekly basis for making a controversial or wrong decision. A referee makes human mistakes which in the heat of the moment in football are easily made and can as result cost a team a goal or three points. The introduction of video technology would allow a referee to refer to video analysis to make a decision which may missed or not seen which all the cameras on Sky Sports pick up instantly. Without use of video technology we surely still in dark ages of football.

England manager, Roy Hodgson revealed in an interview that he believed goal-line technology would “sanitise” football.

Albeit that we are looking for perfection, we must remember that football is not a science, it is a game.

But his voice of caution is very much the exception rather than the rule in English football. Which brings into question would the introduction of video technology ruin the game?  Technology would raise the debate to whether it would turn the game into science, with football being a game not a science. It would also see the end of the talking points, of did the referee make right decision with the red card? Video technology in football brings its benefits but we also need understand the negatives which it could bring to the beautiful game.

More importantly, however, is how the lack of goal-line technology seems to legitimise players’ and managers’ behaviour. Would Arsene Wenger accept that referee made correct decision awarding a penalty if video technology was used? Would Mancini still wave his imaginary card at the referee even if video evidence proved the referee made the correct decision in not sending the player off? All these questions are unknown until football steps into the technological age and introduce video technology to take the pressure and heat of referees.

Surely it’s about time football stepped into the technological age. This time, has been overdue, the game is changing the technological change needs to be made now!

The Author

James Bayley

I'm a passionate football fan who writes philosophically about the beautiful game.

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