FIFA Push Technology Over The Line. But, How Far Should It Go?

Lampard vs. Germany, Devic vs. England, Hurst vs. Germany. Some of the most important goals (or misses) in history, have been fatal, and will be forever remembered in history.

Now, FIFA have decided it is time to act. There are two systems that have been approved for use, and news is that the Premier League are keen to start using it as early as the 2013/2014 season. 

Below is a bit more about both systems.



Sharing a name with its cricket and tennis counterpart, it is developed by the same company, and it is owned by Sony. Several cameras, which are hooked onto the roof of a stadium, track the ball whilst it is in flight, and should that ball cross the line, a signal would be passed to the referee through the aid of a watch-like receiver, allowing him to award a goal, or no goal, in less than a second.

The only problem with this system would be if there was a melee of players completely covering the ball, although with 6-8 cameras, you wouldn’t expect that to happen. Expect it to now though.



A fancier name, and a fancier system. Cheaper, and was designed by the Germans and the Danish. Magnetic strips are placed inside the balls, and sensors are placed in the goalposts. If the magnetic field is breached by the ball, then a sensor is emitted to the referees watch, signaling that it is a goal.

I suppose the only problem with this system, would be if players installing their own magnetic strips into their boots, and flinging them across the line in a desperate plea for a goal. Unlikely.


So, two well-thought out systems, and to most fans, a change that should’ve happened a long time ago. The system will be in place for the Club World Cup in Japan this December, a competition which Chelsea will be in due to them winning the Champions League in May.

Like most people, I was quietly hoping that fireworks and strobe lights would be hooked up to either system, allowing the crowd to know exactly when a goal was scored. Although, make sure they don’t turn that system on until after the warm-ups.

Where does this leave football now though? Goal-line decisions have been the bane of many teams over the last few years, but does it stop there? Offsides, throw-ins, corners, all could technically be reviewed with a system, but would this destroy the game?

Personally, I think it would. I was hardly an advocate for the goal-line technology, in fear of the game becoming real-life EA Sports. However, after seeing teams being denied massive goals through clear examples of this, I have warmed to the idea, although that’s as far as it should go.

I am worried though, that these companies may decide to pursue their ideas for offside and throw in/corner systems, that would definitely destroy the game, as well as a few thousand linesmen and womens jobs.  If Mr.Hawk-Eye and GoalRef have these ideas, please let them stay as ideas.

Fair enough, there has been some terrible offside calls in our lifetime, that might well have changed games. However, that is part and parcel of the game, and in fairness, the officials do get a huge majority of these calls spot on. Plus, unlike goal-line technology, offsides only lead to a chance on goal, not a certain goal, which is why I believe they should stop at this, in fear of our beautiful game being run by robots and machines, with 400 whizzing cameras on every stadium.

Plus, we all still need something left to debate down the pub after the game, don’t we?


By Brad Smith



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