Video: The case for goal line technology grows


Anyone following English League by now knows the strange case of Freddie Sears’s goal being disallowed after it clearly went in before hitting a stanchion and bouncing out. The referee Rob Shoebridge awarded Bristol City a goal kick after extensive consultation with the linesman as disbelieving players surrounded him. City was at the end of a bad call themselves as he disallowed a Paul Hartley goal for offside. It probably was a make up call. Neil Warnock was understandably livid and his accusations of poor sportsmanship and cheating ignited a war of words between the two clubs.
Goal line technology is good for the blood pressure but bad for football folklore. Purists will say that these are the moments that live on and breed rivalries which fuel book sales. Somewhere there are Hobbits that rule the game and we always have to go back to the Shire to find time standing still.
However, this incident is bound to add to the debate over whether we can trust human judgment. It proves more and more that we need a fourth official to review decisions. The matter would have been resolved in seconds for all the time it took Shoebridge to debate the goal with his crew. We can restrict the number reviews to limit the disruption to the flow of the game.

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6 comments on “Video: The case for goal line technology grows
  1. A stupid, stupid thing to happen in the modern game. However, on Goals on Sunday this morning the Bristol Manager rang in and thought that it wasn’t given for an infringement, because from the referee had a perfect view of it and he thought he’d gone to the linesman because there was a foul.
    Obviously, there wasn’t.

  2. I believe that Rob Shoebridge will not be refereeing the next match which probably negates the infringement argument.

  3. That seems more like a case for an orange ball than for fundamentally changing the way a soccer match is conducted. If the call goes against you just deal with it. You’ll get one in your favor later. That’s In big games FIFA has a secret (really) official upstairs who radios down to the field refs if something crucial is missed. That’s fine. Replay would introduce stop time and alter the flow of the game.

  4. GaryD, you are a Hobbit :) but yes, replay will do that. We don’t want to see the game change to the NFL. However, changing the colour of the ball does not fundamentally change the way we see, the eye only retains images up to 1/6 of a second. Anything faster than leads to error.

  5. What exactly could FIFA do if all the major leagues collectively decided to use video technology in any manner they saw fit? e.g. to determine whether a ball had crossed the line, to determine penalty decisions, to punish players retrospectively for diving, playacting or violent conduct? The answer is of course absolutely F*ck all. FIFA would likely threaten to ban the associations and their national teams from competing at the World Cup and their various tournaments but a World Cup without Brazil, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Argentina and England i.e. the nations with the most lucrative television markets, most storied histories and largest worldwide fan bases would be an unmitigated disaster, without these nations there is no World Cup.
    What we need is the VT (video technology) equivalent of Jean-Marc Bosman

  6. Mehdi
    Interesting solution. The problem is that the fat cats in the national associations especially the big ones are tied to Sepp Blatter in many ways so they can never truly be independent. That is why there is so much jockeying for the World Cup. Everyone wants to sleep in his bed. And rival associations will form if FIFA bans the national ones which will be far more subservient. No this change has to be driven by FIFA and its referees. The scene between Drogba and Ovrebo in the Chelsea and Barca CL semi-final would not have happened if VT was installed.

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