February 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm
For a match that should have been remembered for its goals and the exceptional performance of Real Betis’ midfield maestro Benat Extebarria, the spotlight once again shone on an ugly incident that decided to make yet again another appearance in the beautiful game….the call for goal line technology!!
Real Betis’ Jorge Molina (left) stepped up to convert what looked to be his second of the match from the penalty spot with the score standing at 2-0, and despite the ball rattling off of the cross bar and bouncing back from what clearly looked to be over the line, the goal was still not given.
Luckily for FIFA President Sepp Blatter, there was no come back from Malaga with the eventual score ending up as a 3-0 win for Betis. Now fast tracking back slightly to John Terry’s clearance in this Summers European Championships, where there was once again another “ghost” goal that could have been a game changing moment between England and Ukraine, the one that had finally made Blatter make his decision to bring in goal line technology.
The Swiss president was quick to point out that the technology would be used in the World Cup finals in 2014, but why is a rather short process, taking so long to happen? Surely, with the technology being available, FIFA would want to put a nail in this coffin once and for all? And judging by the technology that was tested in this year’s FIFA World Club Cup, there is a range of equipment that is there and ready to be used to help officials make the correct decisions in vital moments of key fixtures.
The decision by football’s most powerful man has come surprisingly two years after he commented on Frank Lampard’s ‘goal’ against Germany in the 2010 World Cup being what made him want the inclusion of goal line machinery. So in between that time and modern day football, the soccer community are still causing uproar for FIFA to bring in the technology as incidents continue to happen such as this one in La Liga and yet we are still not using the facilities that are available to us that can help football to move forward.
There is a long history in football, where the officials have failed to make the correct call in guessing whether the ball has crossed the line or not and they have often proved costly, normally resulting in them coming under intense scrutiny from fans and footballers alike. It’s interesting that footballs top organisations have campaigns such as the “Respect” one for referees; when the governing bodies are technically leaving the door wide open for respect for officials to go out of the window once incidents like this take place.
The officials can be helped to gain the respect of their fellow professionals by making the correct decision, and in this instance, technology would be difficult to argue against. Now, Michel Platini’s feathers have been well and truly rustled by this, as he explains the ‘human error’ side of the game will be destroyed but if he wants respect for referees, he must understand that this system can help and only take a second or two for the officials to find out whether it did or did not cross the line.
After all, the system GoalRef that was used in the FIFA World Club Cup, takes up to a second to send the referee a signal telling them whether or not the whole ball crossed the line so would not interrupt the flow and nature of the match. Even if Platini’s belief is true, the linesman in the Betis game struggled to see if the ball crossed the line from less than 12 yards away so what hope do others have of making the correct call??
Hopefully, with La Liga now welcoming the use of this technology, we will see the end of high profile incidents in top flight football.