While Alex McLeish adamantly argued for the use of goal line technology after Birmingham’s defeat to Pompey, FIFA rejected the proposal. Birmingham City had a clear goal ruled off because the referee wasn’t in the right position to see it. Later during the press conference McLeish put forward a good argument, stating:
“It’s not easy for their guys to see it in a split second. I know you can’t stop every part of the game but certainly for key decisions in a major competition like the FA Cup, your chances of getting to semi-finals and finals are few and far between for a little club like us.”
The Italian Serie A has also argued the approval and use of goal line technology as an aid to referees. However, FIFA has turned it down in Italy without even trying it in a friendly.
A very irate Palermo President Maurizio Zamparini stated to the media that: “As long as certain directors are in charge of world football, there will be no room for new technology.
“This is a real shame for the sport. Technology would make the job of the referee less arduous, but the truth is certain institutions are not in step with the times.”
Arsene Wenger also came out and iterated his disappointment with FIFA for refusing to even give this technology a chance. “For me, it is difficult to understand, for one reason because you want as much justice as possible,” said Wenger.
“I do not even think it is linked with the money factor. If you love football you want the right decisions to be made.”
Wenger showed how much he pays attention to the league when he used Birmingham’s only recently ruled out goal as an evidence of the need for this technology. “Today there was an incident again at the Portsmouth game and I just do not understand why we rule that out,” Wenger said. “It is beyond comprehension for me that you can do that.”
There are both silly and valid arguments against goal line technology. The sillier ones all seem to be based on some sort of belief that technology has no place in football. What FIFA fails to notice is that technology permeates football both implicitly and explicitly. From the ball to the players’ boots we have seen rapid advances in technology adapted to football, and every time it has made the sport better and more entertaining. Technology now gives us the chance to make the sport fairer.
Among the valid arguments is the difficulty of the actual use of the technology. For instance, would play have to be stopped while footage is reviewed or will there be some sort of system that will clearly indicate whether the ball has crossed the line immediately?
Speed is the main technical issue with the system. The system and the referee would have to come to a quick decision because play cannot be stopped for very long without it affecting the flow of the game.
However, if done right there is no reason why goal line technology should not be used. The least FIFA can do is to give it a chance.