Video Technology: Is it just about the goals?

He should think about Video technology… long think

The call for the introduction of video technology into our beloved round leather game has been a pressing issue in the last few years. Other major sports like Tennis, Basketball, Swimming have embraced the use of technology to aid match official and umpires in the smooth running of their games so it’s difficult to comprehend FIFA’s reluctance up to this moment.

The argument from FIFA back and forth is that the game should be handled by humans without technology aid. Football has grown just like other sports today with a lot of investment (time, energy, money) thrown into it, therefore any vital error on the part of the official these days goes a long way because the stakes are higher now.

Like we all know, football is all about scoring goals so the goal line demon appears to take centre stage..

Oh… Lampard was wrong, Fifa is right.. It wasn’t a goal

England were on the receiving end during the last FIFA World Cup held in South Africa last year. Video replays confirmed that Frank Lampard’s powerful effort did cross the line after it ricochet off the cross bar in their round of 16 clash against Germany.

The governing body FIFA and UEFA have been looking at other alternatives to technology like planting goal line assistant referees to help ease this problem. I’m not sure that’s a lasting solution to it.

A lot of other wrong decisions have been made by referees and their assistants lately and the call for video technology has resurfaced again.

FIFA, UEFA and other governing bodies of the game should consider that the introduction of video technology is not only about goal line scenarios. There are other critical decisions in during a match that video technology would be useful for.

The dynamics of the game is evolving with players and maybe coaches looking for unfit ways (diving, theatrics, off the ball incidents, offside goals) to get favorable decisions from match officials.

Malicious tackles are also not left out, an off-the-ball incident in a Premier League match last February where Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney hacked Wigan Athletic’s James McCarthy with an elbow challenge is a perfect example of where video evidence can be used to punish an erring player during the course of the game.

Video technology would have made this very clear.

The theatrics display by Barcelona’s Dani Alves in getting Real Madrid’s Pepe sent off is another instance where technology could have been a hero. Salomon Kalou’s offside winner against Tottenham Hotspur in April is an epitome where technology could have spared the official’s blushes.

The highlighted points above have played significant influence in the way those matches have panned out just as several others in numerous matches but I cannot use all the contentious football points I know as paradigms. It has widely been observed that it is only the aggrieved in this unpleasant situation who scream foul play when the wrong decision befalls them.

I feel it could be a factor why the governing body haven’t taken the bull by the horn yet as it may all but sound like sour grapes.  Real Madrid’s coach Jose Mourinho and his Tottenham counterpart Harry Redknapp are the latest victims. It will be admirable to see opposing managers and players  add their voices even if they are beneficiaries of “the rub of the green”.

Throughout the course of this season, the additional goal line assistants  have barely had significant input in matches and I’m more than certain that they are additional cost to the budget of UEFA.

This is where technology comes in. I suggest that the governing bodies should allow teams who feel aggrieved about a wrong decision call for video replays but there should be limitations to the number of calls for either team in a match. The ultimate decision on the matter of contention lies squarely at the feet of the referee who is expected be an unbiased judge of the game.

It’s time for us to embrace a change.

Let’s have your feel on this pressing issue.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Segun Afolahan on May 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    This is a fantastic article. It is also timely. FIFA will do themselves a favour by applying technology to all aspect of football controversy. I agree that the stakes are higher and fairness of the game should be improved.


  2. Posted by babs on May 6, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I’m not in support of the introduction of video technology in the sense that its gonna affect d flow of d game.
    U suggested a limitatn in d num of calls in a match so wat happens if a particular team had used up their calls & ve a valid decision 2 contest.
    Football is a team sport, sum decisions wld go ur way while sum wld go against u. D most important thing is 4 d players 2 rmmba fair play.
    Another problem abt dis technology is dat not all clubs in d world wld b able 2 afford it. Talking abt d developing countries dat don’t even ve flood light in their stadia.


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