Goal Line Technology Wont Solve The Problem

The controversy over Ukraine’s disallowed goal against England last night has renewed the calls for “Goal-Line Technology” (GLT) as the solution to that problem. But is it really ?

Ive no love for the stuffed shirts at UEFA and FIFA, but on this occasion I think Collina is right – GLT probably would not have solved the problem in that game.

Its significant that very few of the advocates of GLT ever describe exactly what it means and how it is going to work. Most people imagine that GLT is going to be like an action – replay on TV, but that cant work since there has to be a way of stopping the game in the meantime so that the picture can be checked in contentious cases. A live official just 6 feet away didnt spot it, what makes you think the same official sitting in the stands with a TV monitor is going to be any better ? And how do you stop the game anyway, because the attacker says so ? the game would have to stop everytime the ball went near the goal !

Whatever system you have, the decision has to be instantaneous or it wont work in most cases. That is the real reason that it has never been introduced to date.

All you could hope for is several cameras trained on the goal and an official watching each who then press a button and over-rule the ref is they all think its a goal. That would certainly have allowed an obvious goal like Frank Lampard’s, but would it have allowed last night’s ? remember there is no time to run the tape back and forth or create a 3-D computer simulation like on TV – they have to decide there and then – and if the ball is very close to line they may not spot it even though an action replay shows that it was, in fact, a goal.

The only system that would really work is some sort of RFID system, ie a set of chips in the embedded in the ball and sensors in the goal posts. Unfortunately the current technology is too unreliable, kicking the ball can damage the chips, and players in the goal mouth can obscure the sensors.

Face facts – if it was as easy as GLT advocates say then we would all be doing it – but we dont.

Human skill and human error are simply a part of football. Live with it !

Copyright ©2012 Savereo John


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