Sepp Blatter’s assertion that goal-line technology is a ‘necessity’ is anti-football

Simon Rice
John Terry 300x225 Sepp Blatters assertion that goal line technology is a necessity is anti football

John Terrt clears the ball away after it crosses the line

It won’t have gone unnoticed by anti-England conspiracy theorists that Sepp Blatter thinks goal-line technology is “a necessity” after England were on the fortunate end of a wrong decision.

After digging in his heels for years over the decision to implement technology, following last night’s effort by Marco Devic for Ukraine, the Fifa president has today said that its implementation is imperative.

Technology which ensures that when a ball fully crosses the line, a goal is given, were already afoot. Tests have been conducted at Wembley Stadium and there is talk it could be used in English domestic football as soon as the 2013/14 season. Ironically, these moves began after England’s Frank Lampard was denied a clear goal at the 2010 World Cup.

Following Blatter’s tweet: “After last night’s match GLT is no longer an alternative but a necessity” there would now seem no doubt that technology will soon be a part of the game.

But is he right? Of course there is a strong argument for technology. When the ball crosses the line, everyone wants to see a goal given. England fans were in no mood to argue about last night’s mistake – Ukraine should have been back in the match.

Uefa president Michel Platini is less of a convert to GLT. He told reporters in Warsaw: “With five, officials see everything.” The former French international is clearly burying his head in the sand – the officials don’t see everything – as proved by last night’s mistake.

Platini went on to justify his opposition to goal-line technology.

“Goal-line technology isn’t a problem,” he said.

“The problem is the arrival of technology because, after, you’ll need technology for deciding handballs and then for offside decisions and so on. It’ll be like that forever and ever.

“It’ll never stop. That’s the problem I have.”

And this is where Platini is right.

Once GLT has been implemented and is as common a part of the game as offside and the pass-back rule, it will only be a matter of time before there are calls for the furthering of technology in the game. Could penalty decisions be appealed? Should red cards be ratified by a fourth official with a video monitor at his disposal? As incidents crop up, so will the arguments for it’s further use.

Some may wonder what is wrong with this. Surely getting the big decisions right is a good thing – and indeed it is.

But the beauty of football – unlike any other sport – is its accessibility for all. One only needs a ball and one can play football – whether alone or with friends, or for your school, or with a Sunday league side. Jumpers for goal posts as they say.

You don’t see this with other sports. It’s difficult to play on your own with a rugby ball. You need wickets, bats, pads and boxes to play cricket. You need rackets, courts and rich parents to play tennis. A multitude of clubs are needed to play golf and lets not even start on American sports.

Football is for all and it’s why it’s the most popular game in the world – by a long distance. Should technology become a prevalent part of the game, it will threaten that, and that’s why it should be resisted.

Whether Blatter’s assertion hints at an anti-England conspiracy is irrelevant – it’s anti-football.

Follow Simon Rice on Twitter @simonrice

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  • Sinique

    Make your mind up – big ears or long ears. It could be important. Isn’t Platini that Italo-Greek philosopher?

  • Jim

    How is it more disingenuous? I offered reasons for my assertion. Perhaps you might care to do the same.

  • CurtOntheRadio

    Just accept sometimes mistakes are made.

    Suspicion of corruption is the only reason to introduce technology – if there’s no suspicion there’s no need.

  • DooEdd

    Your last point is very similar to the no-to-technology
    brigade’s reasoning tho, but weaker. is there really some wonderful technology
    that will provide 100% accuracy on all decisions removing any and all
    controversy? I mean, some decisions are black and white – im sure there is
    technology capable of spotting ball crossing a line or even confirming off and
    on side – but even with a zillion TV replays we still see disagreements on
    foul/no foul from people (fans or
    pundits) looking at the same images! so in practice your plan to leave the
    drama to the 22 players on the pitch actually needs decisions taken ‘up-stairs’
    to a ref in a box with a telly and an individual opinion. I prefer my refs
    on the pitch thanks.

    Its not a luddite stand-point, it’s a non-naïve practicality
    standpoint, that id be happy to reconsider if someone proposed a workable
    solution, but so far pro-technologists suggest either that GLT alone is good
    enough (recent game begs to differ!) or that every decision will become black
    and white simply by watching it again on the TV (instances in every game begs
    to differ!).

  • wheeliebin

    Repeating your argument doesn’t make you correct.

    Where is your evidence that corruption is the only reason to introduce it? Presumably this is just your opinion. Everybody else seems to think it is to counter mistakes.

  • wheeliebin

    This was a fairly rare situation, personally I think offsides should be judged with technology too.

  • Matt Downing

    Does Simon get paid for this? Arguing everything at professional level has to be able to be replicated at grass-roots, or the grass-roots players will stop? In the same way that no-one uses jumpers for goalposts: it’s regulation size goals or nothing. No-one plays on playground tarmac, it’s grass or nothing. No game is played on any street with less than four officials.

    I’m just trying to understand what happened. Simon wrote some words, and showed them to other human beings, and at no point did anyone intervene and say “These words, as arranged in these sentences, don’t match reality on any level.”

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