Yes. This is ANOTHER goal line technology blog post, deal with it!

So goal line technology was finally used in the a world cup in Brazil. After a few instances in South Africa 2010, where the technology would have been useful, Sepp Blatter and his cronies have finally seen sense and adopted one of a number ball tracking technologies.

It was France vs Honduras that saw the first and arguably (still) controversial usage. The ball bounced off the post and then off the keeper before it crossed the line. The screen in the stadium displayed “no goal” before showing “goal”. To the naked eye this moment was all over inside a second.

It was the double display that caused confusion. Fans inside the stadium expected a definitive answer to the question: “was it a goal?” The technology only displayed what it was designed to show – a decision each time the ball approaches the line and what the goal status was. But yet it was still unclear.

Although it is an important step forward to introduce this technology, I do feel that FIFA still has a lot to learn from other sports. Perhaps the best use of technology is in Rugby where the TMO (television match official) helps the referee and the technology is only employed if the referee cannot determine an outcome either way. Then he requests another official away from the pitch to review the play – at the same time the referee can see on the stadium screens what is being reviewed.

I don’t know why FIFA are being so awkward and only instating the most basic technology in football

Rather than a simple boolean state the referee can ask any question. For example “is there any reason I may not award the try?” or “can you please check the grounding of the ball?” This means that the judgement is still performed by a human. The crowd and home audiences can see what is happening and what is being reviewed, avoiding confusion.

This type of technology would have helped poor snap decisions needing to be made in the opening game of this World Cup where a dubious penalty was given (the benefit of the doubt going with the home nation Brazil) and in Mexico’s opening game against Cameroon where offside decisions resulted in two disallowed goals.

I don’t know why FIFA are being so awkward and only instating the most basic technology in football. There is an obvious call for more and more accurate decisions to be made with more and more money being pumped into the sport. I guess they will eventually make the slow meander towards the inevitable, but it will show as much petulance as possible as they cling on to the human referee unfairly being forced to determine every outcome in split second. All the while the referee could be helped be replays and review technology that is already helping other sports.

Images courtesy of Talk Sport and sports-board.com