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Inside Story

Kicking up a fuss over goal-line technology

We discuss the impact that ball-tracking technology will have on football after fans cry foul over refereeing.
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2013 11:58

The international football body FIFA has confirmed that goal-line technology will be used in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Goal-line technology, or GLT, is a method that helps referees call goals by using electronic devices to determine when a ball has completely crossed the goal line.

"There is an argument for videoing an all-goal situation but I am concerned that it should be cheap enough technology to be able to be brought in through as much of the game as possible."

- Jonny Gould, sports journalist

This is the first time the sport will use the high-tech method of determining whether or not a ball has crossed the line, and it is welcome news to many fans and officials who have seen a fair share of controversial refereeing decisions over the years.

Goal-line technology is already used in other sports like tennis and cricket and the system was successfully tried at the Club World Cup in Japan in December.

In a statement, FIFA said: "After a successful implementation of Goal-Line Technology at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December 2012, FIFA has decided to use GLT at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil."

But not everyone is in favour of the move, least of all Michel Platini, the president of Europe's football governing body UEFA, and a former player himself.

He introduced an alternative solution at the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine, which put extra officials near the goal line to assist the referee.

"The universality of football will be undermined. We will have two rules of the game - one for the rest of the world and poorer nations and one for richer nations who are basically drawing the television viewership."

- Mehrdad Masoudi, producer of Futbol Mundial

Platini, like many others in the game, believes that decisions on the field should be left to humans, for better or for worse, as they always have been.

"Why don't we have technology on the by line rather than the actual goal line? If tomorrow someone hand-balls it on the line, if a defender stops the ball with his hand on the line, and the referee doesn't see it ... we can't just have goal-line technology here," he said.

"We also need sensors to see if someone has actually hand-balled it, we need cameras to see if there should have been a goal or not. I'm not against goal-line technology, I'm against technology itself because then it's going to invade every single area of football."

So, will goal-line technology be a success? And will it prevent the scandals that have hit football in the past?

Inside Story, with presenter Hazem Sika, discusses with guests: Luther Blissett, a former professional England player, who is now ambassador for "Show Racism the Red Card"; Jonny Gould, a sports journalist in television and radio, and CEO of Sports Media, a news network; and Mehrdad Masoudi, a producer for FIFA's show Futbol Mundial, who was also a FIFA press officer during the 1998 World Cup in France.

"I personally think it's time they did something about it ... Goal-line technology, [it] is about time they did it because we have seen so many occasions now where goals have been disallowed and, on occasion, have been given when the ball hasn't actually crossed the line ... And I am really pleased to see them bring in goal-line technology as long as it only stays in goal-line technology. I don't want it to be brought in [to] any other aspect of the game because I think then it ruins what is already a fantastic spectacle."

 Luther Blissett, former professional England player

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