Goal-line technology: An argument FOR
Following Ukraine's disallowed goal at Euros, we look at arguments for and against introducing goal-line technology.
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2012 13:54
Opinions are divided over whether introducing goal-line technology is right for the game [Getty Images]

The debate over goal-line technology is not a new one, it has rumbled on for the last few years.

With humans always prone to error, technology created the possibility of not having to rely on them to make every decision on the pitch.

Goal-line technology has forced the old fashioned institution of FIFA to come to grips with a modern dilemma.

So far, it has been the flighty opinions of FIFA president Sepp Blatter that have dictated the decision-making process.

Before the 2010 World Cup, Blatter seemed unconvinced about introducing new technology to the game. However, following Frank Lampard's disallowed goal during England’s 4-1 loss to Germany, he announced FIFA would be looking into the options available.

After Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine were denied an equaliser against England on Tuesday, Blatter strengthened his view saying he saw technology as 'a necessity' rather than an option.

Following years of debate and months of testing, the International Football Association Board (IFAB) will vote on introducing goal-line technology on July 5th. If given the green light it could be in place by the end of 2012.

"Despite the presence of a referee, two assistant referees, a fourth official and two additional assistant referees – Marko Devic's second-half effort was wrongly disallowed"

There are a number of arguments for keeping football and technology apart. What if it ruins the natural rhythm of a game? Will the technology always get it right? It is worth the expense, especially as it will not be needed for most games. 

On Thursday, UEFA Referees Committee member Pierluigi Collina pointed to another reason why goal-line technology might not be required: the high accuracy of officials. He reminded fans that assistant referees at the Euros have got 95.7% of decisions right.

So with officials performing so highly at the Euros, is there any need for goal-line technology?

My answer is yes - because goal-line decisions are difficult, and a costly error has already been made at the tournament.

Without the option of goal-line technology, UEFA president Michel Platini introduced two additional assistant referees positioned behind the goal-line for the Euros. As part of a continuing experiment authorised by IFAB, these assistants look at incidents in and around the penalty area.

However, a Ukraine fan might well ask “What were they looking at on Tuesday?”

Despite the presence of a referee, two assistant referees, a fourth official and two additional assistant referees – Marko Devic's second-half effort was wrongly disallowed. While the decision didn’t directly knock Ukraine out, it was a major turning point in the match, and nobody knows what would have happened if the goal had been given.

Ukraine were rightly aggrieved by the nature of their departure from a tournament they worked so hard on to host.

When all these sets of eyeballs fail to make the right decision, surely it’s time for a change.

If either Hawkeye - the camera-based system known in tennis and cricket - or GoalRef - which uses magnetic sensors to detect when the ball crosses the line - are proved highly accurate, I can’t see any reason to vote against goal-line technology in July.

The next big mistake could come in the European Championship final on July 1st.

And what a shame it would be if this great tournament was overshadowed by a dubious call only four days before IFAB cast their vote.

To read Stuart Silvers' argument against goal-line technology click here

Joanna Tilley is a freelance journalist working for Al Jazeera. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaTilley. 

Al Jazeera is not responsible for the content of external websites. 


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