FIFA President Sepp Blatter recently published on his Twitter account that goal-line technology (GLT) is a necessity.
His remarks come after a controversy no-call at the 2012 European Championship. A shot by Ukraine’s Marko Devic appeared to have crossed the goal line in the 62nd minute. It was not ruled a goal but instead cleared by England’s John Terry.
The goal line official had a great view of the play but made no signal. The ball looked like it crossed the goal line in various television replays.
England ended up winning the match 1-0 and advancing to the quarterfinals. Ukraine was sent home.
The offended coach and players complained to the officials, but like always, it did no good.
The soccer gods did even things out. The “no-goal” came after Ukraine got away with an off-sides.
The Euros are using a five-official system (referee, two linesman, and two assistants near the goal). However, UEFA President Michel Platini, proponent of the five-official system and opponent of allowing technology into the game, believes FIFA will adopt some sort of GLT on July 5.
If FIFA does adopt a GLT system (one is being tested in England and another in Demark) they will join the ranks of NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and professional tennis. They all use technology during game play to correct or confirm close calls.
I personally don’t like replay, or any sort of technology, when it comes to officiating. I prefer the human element.
Players make mistakes. Officials make mistakes. Those mistakes keep things interesting.
However, there’s one thing that makes me change my mind and call for the use of technology as much as possible. That thing is television.
From the NFL to FIFA, they have to get calls right. You can’t have fans at home see one thing while officials call another. It detracts from the integrity and enjoyment of the game.
A missed call shouldn’t be the focus of discussion after a game. Fans should be talking about the outcome, its players, and their performance.
Since television isn’t going away, and sports coverage will only include more cameras with higher resolutions, league officials must do everything they can to ensure non-judgment calls are correct
Officiating should be invisible. It shouldn’t be a talking point. Technology can’t and won’t eliminate every bad call but it can eliminate the ones easily noticed by fans.