I have been keeping an eye on the goal-line technology debate in football this year.
A Wikipedia page for Goal-line technology was created in October 2008. It has been edited over 100 times in 2012 and provides an excellent overview of the topic.
Goal-line technology has been in the news over the last week.
It is in use at the 2012 FIFA Club World Cup. GoalRef has been installed in Yokohama and Hawk-Eye at Hiroshima.
A Michel Platini press conference has attracted a lot of comment. At the conference he is quoted as saying:
It is not a question of goal-line technology, it is a question of technology. Where do you begin with the technology and where do you end with the technology? Technology is helpful but we have to draw the lines on certain things.
To put goal-line technology in our competitions would cost €50 million in five years. I prefer to give €50m to the grassroots and development in football rather than to put €50m into technology for perhaps one or two goals per year. That’s a lot of money per goal.
We supported the additional referees which are now accepted by the international board, and with the referee one metre from the line I think if he has good glasses he can see if the ball is inside the goal or outside.
It is an interesting coincidence that Chelsea are playing in the tournament. One of their team, Frank Lampard, has been an advocate for goal-line technology. His ‘goal’ in the 2010 World Cup amplified the debate about how officials make decisions about a goal being scored.
Lampard effort not given (BBC, 28 June 2010)
This week iSportConnect and World Football Insider carried updated discussions on goal-line technology. World Football Insider suggests that 13 companies have expressed interest whilst most other reports suggest 11.
iSportConnect points out in its post:
- FIFA has revealed that 11 companies have submitted their initial interest in the next phase of goal-line technology tests after the issue was discussed at the first meeting of the new FIFA Task Force Football 2014 last month.
- Of these companies, nine are from Europe, one from North America, and one from Africa.
- One company from Britain which has continually registered its interest in delivering goal-line technology is Hawkeye.
- Franz Beckenbauer, head of the FIFA Task Force Football 2014 which is looking at ways to improve the game in different areas, told the FIFA Congress last week that he thought the additional referees system was highly effective, saying that he believed goal-line technology may be “superfluous”.
- The International Football Association Board (IFAB) decided at its March 5 meeting to extend testing of goal-line technology by one year.
- The further testing phases will be split in two, with the first trials of goal-line technology scheduled between September and December. Following this phase, the test institute in consultation with the IFAB will establish a shortlist of companies who will proceed to the second testing phase that is scheduled for March to June next year.
- FIFA said each individual system will be scrutinised using stringent pass/fail criteria, both during daylight and at night under floodlights before results of the testing are announced at a special IFAB meeting in July 2012.
- The criteria for the tests include: a goal indication to referee’s watch (automatically displayed by vibration and visual signal); signal range (full coverage of the pitch and technical areas); free shots on goal (100% recognition); static accuracy test (minimum 90% correct recognition in this first phase); and dynamic accuracy test (minimum 90% correct recognition in this first phase).
A number of news portals have reported Michel Platini’s objections to goal-line technology. Roy Hodgson has commented on the technology too. Peter Walton has some interesting things to say about the technology from a referee’s perspective.
If you wanted to look at some of the issues involved in this debate you might like to have a look at this clip from the Independiente Rivadavia v Patronato game (from 1 minute 11 seconds to 1 minute 48 seconds). After watching it I wondered whether players could help with the adjudication process and where the integrity of sport lies.