It is official. FIFA finally ended the goal line technology debate that began seven years ago after Pedro Mendes’s ghost goal against Man Utd was missed by the referee and the linesman. IFAB, the body that governs the game’s rules and laws, approved goal line technology in Zurich yesterday. In addition, two goal line officials will be included as part of the refereeing crew.
The journey was long and littered with misconceptions and technology missteps. Amongst the misconceptions was this technology would take away the “human element” of the game. But human nature also reacts to injustices and there were far too many “one person’s mistake is another person’s gain” as the sport became too quick for the human eye.
Technology or the lack of, took center stage at the 2010 World Cup and if Germany had not outplayed England so comprehensively, Frank Lampard’s denied ghost goal would have been responsible for a nation’s collective amnesia or delusions or both. A missing Wayne Rooney would have had a perfect accomplice.
Still it wasn’t easy. The Luddites led by Michel Platini were vocal in their opposition till last week but Sepp Blatter keen on changing a legacy pockmarked by corruption and nepotism gave the green signal. Blatter personally thanked Lampard for helping change his mind.
” I have to say ‘thank you, Lampard’. I was completely down in South Africa when I saw that it really shocked me, it took me a day to react. It happened again in Ukraine, and Ukraine can still not believe it now.”
Blatter was referring to the Marko Devic goal for Ukraine that the fifth official missed completely in the recently concluded Euro. Ukraine, the co-hosts were eliminated.
Goal line technology could be in place by mid season of the Premiership as well as in the FA Cup semi-finals and finals. Hawk Eye and Goal Ref, the two types of technology will also be installed in this year’s Club World Cup in Japan and the 2013 Confederations Cup, before moving to the world’s biggest stage, the 2014 World Cup.