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Goal-line technology moves a step closer

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David Bond | 20:08 UK time, Thursday, 8 July 2010

World Cup 2010: Cape Town

Jerome Valcke's fascinating interview with the BBC will certainly offer encouragement to those campaigners and supporters who have long argued for the introduction of goal-line technology into the beautiful game.

And although the Fifa general secretary does not specify which solution he favours, it is clear a wind of change is finally blowing through world football's governing body.

It may be too late for England manager Fabio Capello, who insisted after the second-round defeat by Germany that Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda's failure to spot Frank Lampard's shot had crossed the line changed the game.

That may have been wishful thinking given Germany looked like they might score with each attack in the second half, but it looks like the incident could go down as football's eureka moment, a turning point when the game finally caved in to pressure to follow other sports which long ago accepted the advances of the technological age.

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Highlights - Germany 4-1 England highlights (UK users only)

Fifa president Sepp Blatter, the biggest opponent to change down the years, performed a U-turn almost immediately after the Lampard 'goal' - and after Carlos Tevez's offside strike had helped dump Mexico out of the tournament.

He insisted it would now be a "nonsense" not to reopen the file on goal-line technology - a stance he reiterated at a press conference here on Thursday.

But what critics say is a nonsense is the way Fifa and the International Football Association Board (Ifab) - the sport's rule-makers - have handled the debate up to now.

While dozens of technology firms have pitched ideas to Fifa and Ifab down the years, two have emerged as the front-runners to provide the system that could change football.

The first is a German firm called Cairos Goal Line Technology, which has worked with adidas to develop a microchip system. This fits inside any standard football and, using magnetic fields in and around the goal, results in an instant message being sent to the referee whenever the ball crosses the line.

This system was tested with success, Cairos says, at the World Club Championship in Japan in December 2007. But it was rejected by Ifab the following March even though Cairos offered to foot the bill for installing the system.

Cairos claims it has spent more than 10m euros on developing the system but maintains it would be happy to let Fifa or any other governing body or league use it for free in return for a share of sponsorship rights.

Similarly, Hawk-Eye - used widely in many sports including tennis and cricket - presented to the Ifab meeting this March. Using 12 cameras, six aimed at each goal, it says it can clearly detect when the ball has crossed the line even if it is obscured by players' bodies.

The system was tested for a full season in 2007/08 at Reading's Madejski Stadium, working, Hawk-Eye insists, in all weathers and whenever a tight decision was required. It will not reveal how much it spent on developing the system but, like Cairos, it says it would be prepared to foot the bill in return for a share of sponsorship rights.

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David Bond interviews Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke

Like Cairos, it was also rejected. This followed a rejection in March 2009 as well.

Cairos and Hawk-Eye told me that they only discovered Ifab's ruling at a press conference two days later. They received no official notification and claim they have been treated discourteously and are angry at the way Ifab and Fifa refuse to explain their decisions. They believe that if Fifa and Ifab have any doubts about their systems then they should engage independent scientists to carry out a full and proper investigation. They say no such assessment has ever been done.

Ifab was also supposed to hear a presentation from an independent analyst who studied Uefa's trial with two assistant referees standing on the goal line during last season's Europa League. One source claimed the presentation was not even heard.

Members of Ifab and Fifa have always cited concerns over holding up a match while decisions are referred, along with the need to maintain universality in the sport. This states football is the same game governed by the same rules regardless of whether it is a Sunday League match on Hackney Marshes or the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands at Soccer City.

That argument crumbled years ago as the professional game underwent a commercial explosion - financed by television. It is a charming idea but the amateur game and the World Cup finals became two very different sports a long time ago.

Valcke, a former television executive, is acutely aware of how outdated the World Cup looks when it is compared with other sports and how damaging mistakes can be to the sport's image. His comments on Thursday may not mean instant reform but they at least show Fifa is prepared to acknowledge it is time to change.


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  • Comment number 1.

    If anything good could come out of England's dreadful World Cup, at least this would be something.

    It probably wouldn't have changed the result but that's immaterial, the important thing is making the right calls and this technology is needed.

  • Comment number 2.

    Grrrr...sick of this but here goes!

    No goal line technology should ever be introduced. If you actually think about it, its a more flawed system than at present. Supposing there is an incident where the ball just crosses the line but the goalkeeper gathers the ball, then punts the ball 80 yards for his striker who beats the offside trap whilst the opposition defense are appealing for a goal, and he slots it home.

    In such a scenario do they stop the game to look and see if its a goal? Supposing after the counter attack goal is scored, and a replay proves it was originally a goal at the other end, can they now ask to get the counter attack goal struck off as it would never have happened had the officials spotted the original goal?

    What then with the number of appeals? 3 per game? Id imagine it would take about 10 minutes before some defender got caught in possession as last man and immediately launches and appeal about a throw in that was wrongly awarded 5 minutes before hand! Game stopped, hard work ruined etc.....No doubt some italian defenders will work such a system where by they wind the last 10 minutes of a game down whilst defending a 1 nil lead by disputing every throw in. Game is synical enough as it is

    Im with FIFA and sepp on this, Human game, human error, part and parcel of the sport. Plus its something to talk about.

  • Comment number 3.

    It is without question that the time has come for technology to be used in football. It works in other sports and the argument that football needs to be played in the same way in parks and stadiums sounds ridiculous when you see people playing tennis in Brockwell Park without the aid of Hawkeye. Nobody is saying that it should be used indiscriminately and I am fond of Gary Lineker's 3 appeals idea. However it works out, it seems the ref will always have a thankless task...

  • Comment number 4.

    FA: Jump
    FIFA: How high?

  • Comment number 5.

    Personally I think the refereeing situation at World Cups is more important than goal-line technology (though of course both can be implemented). That high-profile error is tragically overshadowed by the terrible standard of officiating - hordes of yellow and red cards, inability to spot/stop diving and other simulation, general loss of control over games, and most of all a complete lack of consistency from match-to-match and even within individual matches. Some refs let anything go, some seem to show a card for every foul - this can't happen at the World Cup, of all places!

    Personally I think FIFA needs to do something about the referees they select. Most of them, for neutrality reasons, come from tiny (football-wise) countries that didn't even qualify and barely have leagues of their own, yet the refs are somehow expected to tell if a world-class player is feigning injury? I'm half surprised that the refs don't ask for autographs during the game!

    What FIFA should do is implement some kind of referee loan system - so that refs from one country officiate games in other countries and other continents. For example, a ref from Ecuador might be "loaned" to the German Bundesliga for a season, and referee there as well as some Champions League matches for example. Likewise it would be good for English refs to experience matches in South America for example. This would not only help to bring up standards, but address other issues like communication between refs and players, ability to handle matches played by players from other cultures/leagues where things may be done completely differently. It would be good to have more "global" refs rather than what is painfully obvious, that most of the referees have only seen how it's done in one area, and really don't know how to handle games where the players are trained to expect something totally different.

  • Comment number 6.

    The answer to having goal line technology is a cheap and very simple idea that could be done on every pitch in the country. All you have to do is slope the turf from the goal line to the back of the net by 20 degrees, any ball hitting this off the crossbar even with spin on it will always want to stay in the net.
    Simple, Job done.

  • Comment number 7.

    Interesting this. It seems we have an admission that referees are too old to keep up with the play. Therefore we should have goal line technology.

    The amount of money involved in the game is now so high. Therefore we should have goal line technology.

    The technology is now developed (and cheap) enough. Therefore....etc

    All of these are valid arguments, but none address why a change in the rules on technology to aid referees and linespeople should stop at the goal line, or slightly across it, as the case may be. Surely the same arguments apply to every decision. If Suarez's handball had not been spotted, the result for Ghana would have been exactly the same as Lampards "goal", but goal line technology could not have helped.

    Or would it? If hawkeye spots a handball, what then? Well then we have the same embarrasing result as the referee and linesdude in the Argentina Mexico game knowing they have got it wrong and being able to do nothing about it. There was another clear and grave injustice that goal line technology could and would not have resolved.

  • Comment number 8.

    The higher ups in FIFA are like old ladies,stubborn and resisting change. I will not dwell on my 100% backing of GOAL LINE replay. If the World Cup is such a great accomplishment (which it is),why would you not expect anything short of fairness of the game,after all, the players are expected to perform.Alot of times the officials ARE NOT in a position to make the correct call.When the Telly can show instant replays of off sides and goals disallowed,why can't the fefs. FIFA needs a big OVERHAUL.
    as a matter of interest,how many times is a goal/no goal disalloed in our Premier League?

  • Comment number 9.

    They still don't get it. How often does a missed goal really occur? It's just the most obvious miscarriage of justice but there are plenty of others.

  • Comment number 10.

    In terms of goalline technology, there doesn't need to be an appeal or a delay. The system could give off a beep in the referee's headset a fraction of a second after the ball crosses the line, probably faster than he can see or process the information. It's a low-key, less ostentatious version of the flashing red light in American ice hockey games.

    So the scenario weezer316 and so many others bring up is moot, because the scenario would never happen if the ball actually DID cross the line.

    The appeals option would only come in for offside calls, penalties etc, and could work with a video ref or fourth official much like rugby, American football, cricket and many other sports. One or two appeals per half, at the discretion of the Coach (not the players) who would have to request it immediately from the fourth official, and once they're used, they're gone. And if the rules are written smartly, the referee could allow an 'advantage' period of a few seconds in the case of a counter attack, and then bring the play back if the video shows a bad decision was made.

    Done. Someone nominate me for FIFA president.

  • Comment number 11.

    How typical this is of FIFA. No technology to be used... oh, until it affects one of the big, powerful countries, then it is suddenly back on the agenda. If the disallowed goal had been scored by Slovakia it would have been ignored.

    Goal-line technology is a must but the politics is always about the big countries and the big clubs.

  • Comment number 12.

    Goal line technology should have been in the game for years and I'm all in favour of it. The point of the game is to score goals and that is what the game is judged on. I could see that Lampard's shot had crossed the line and I was watching it at home. Within 5 seconds the whole world new it was a goal! It's embarrassing for the sport that the referee isn't allowed to have a look.
    I also believe that the use of technology should stop there. Referees and their assistants make very few mistakes; so few people can always remember them and as someone said, it gives people something to talk about!

  • Comment number 13.

    First off sportsmanship and fair play should be re-introduced into the game to stop players falling over in search of conning the ref and getting a free kick. The number of players falling over "in agony" is astonishing; just how delicate are these player?. Players waving imaginary cards at the ref to try and get another player booked or sent off should be booked for un-sportsmanlike conduct. Arguing with the ref or linesman, showing dissent and petulance over a decision should be a booking. These are grown men, perhaps of limited intelligence, but they are not children - they should know better, as should the coaches and managers. Second, the penalty goal should be introduced whenever a certain goal is prevented by illegal means, as in the Ghana-Uruguay game. A certain goal was prevented and the award of a penalty does not always result in a goal. Third, how about a fifth official to view the dodgy goal line incidents who can immediately tell the ref to blow for a goal (a bit like the action replay official in rugby)?
    Oh yes, how about a hall of shame on tv for the most blatant dives and cheating?
    Finally, I'd like to say that most of the problems in football lie with the players themselves, who are all too eager to cheat if they aren't caught doing it, incensed (and innocent of the charge of course) when they are seen cheating and enraged when an opposition player, who cheats in exactly the same way as them, is not caught cheating. And really finally this time I would do away with all the studio pundits who criticise the officials if they get something wrong, have all the slow motion technology at their disposal, who have never refed a game in their lives as there is not enough money in it and who appear not to know the rules (especially the handball rule).

    Finished (for now).

    Captain Fatty

  • Comment number 14.

    Oh yes. Remove Blatter from FIFA. That at a stroke will improve the game.


  • Comment number 15.

    @weezer316: I think you might be overstating the situation here. All that's being talked about is confirming whether the ball has crossed the goal line, not whether a player was last to kick the ball out to touch. It can only be a good thing in my opinion.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think that goal-line technology would reduce the amount of injustice that entire nations experience when the other side wins because of human error - think the anguish of the Irish when Thierry Henry's handball was missed. This in turn leads to mass depression and despair for those so passionate about the game.

    I work in psychiatry and I see the negative effects that these incidents have. Sadly, they can have serious effects on mental health. I would welcome the introduction of goal-line technology for the sake of our nations' sanity.

    Also, as a football fan, I would like to think that goal-line technology and the idea of an appeals system would add an extra element to the sport, rather than taking anything away from it. It would give a safety net for referees who fear for their lives when they make a wrong decision, and it would probably give managers less reason to blast the referee for being poor, which happens far too often.

  • Comment number 17.

    FIFA will probably bring in the two extra officials as a "solution".

    A bad idea to start with, and an even worse one to continue with. They were pretty much just spectators for the Europa League and add no value at all.

    Technology may not be perfect, as in it cannot give instant decisions, but it's a far better option. FIFA need to stop hiding behind silly excuses (such as it not working at grassroots level) and wake up. But they are a bunch of self-interested muppets, so it won't happen (and can anyone explain why Blatter is still in charge?!).

  • Comment number 18.

    In football, 99% of decisions are opinion not a matter of fact. That is why goal line technology can help as it is a matter of fact whether a ball crosses the line or not. Most decisions are opinion and must be decided by one person, the referee on the field of play. You cannot have two referees, even if one does have video replay at his disposal. If the referee on the field of play has a good view and decides it is not a foul, you cannot have someone sitting at a monitor declaring it a foul 30 seconds later when he has viewed it from six angles.

    Goal Line Technology - Yes
    Any Other Technology - No

  • Comment number 19.

    What about offside technology? Most mistakes have been due to wrong offside decisions. For instance, Villa's goal against Portugal was offside, Tevez was offside against Mexico and I've seen several wrong offside or onside calls.

  • Comment number 20.

    For the love of God, you don't need sophisticated technology like Hawkeye or Cairos system! Just use video replays - there, problem solved!

  • Comment number 21.

    I can't see the counter argument - a football game at this level should never ever be impaired by a poor refereeing decision if we can help it. World cup games should be 100% about the quality of the performance of the teams, and nothing to do with the quality of the performnace of the referees. Goal-line technology, a video ref, anything and everything is acceptable in my opinion to minimise the influence of the non-players on the pitch. It has certainly improved rugby, and it might bring an end to the growth of diving and out-of-sight fouling in football to boot.

  • Comment number 22.

    Weezer316 misses the point completely. Many of the systems that have been developed can tell INSTANTLY whether or not the ball has crossed the line. The system trialled at the World Club Championship in 2007 for example used a specially designed watch that would vibrate on the ref's wrist the moment the ball crossed the line. So 1 second after Lampard scored, the ref could've blown his whistle and given the goal. Forget running down the other end and scoring a goal in the meantime.

    I really can't understand why some people are so against FAIRNESS. That's all we're talking about here. Scoring a goal is the hardest thing to do in football, how can it be right that a ref's incompetence can mess that up?

    I'd love to see Howard Webb put in a sterling performance at the final on Sunday, but a part of me almost wants to see something as outrageous as Lampard's "goal" be the thing that decides the World Cup final. That way the whole world will witness what a laughing stock football is, when compared to other professional sports. I HATE seeing our sport controlled by incompetent and corrupt muppets like Blatter... it's OUR game afterall.

    The argument that it's better to allow unfairness to prosper because fans something to talk about down the pub is an absolute joke. This World Cup will be remembered as the most unjust and unfair "professional" competition of modern times. Think about the incidents that stick in the memory... how many of them relate to amazing runs, fantastic team-goals? Now think about the others:-

    Thierry Henry cheated to knock out Ireland, Lampard scored but the goal wasn't given, Tevez scored (from 1m offside) but the goal WAS given, Uruguay deliberately handballed on the line, knocking-out Ghana - the last remaining African team... and we've not even played the final yet.

    Football is an embarrassment.

  • Comment number 23.

    It isn't solely about the goal-line technology; it is about FIFA keeping control over the game as well as keeping popular public support. If the public support dwindles then FIFA run the risk of losing credability which won't do much good for the game or themselves as an organisation.

    Rules change over time and although even I have been a critic of FIFA recently, they have actually brought some good rules in over the years. Unfortunately it does actually take rather big mistakes and acts of injustice for the rules to be changed rather than incremental changes that we would all like to see slowly over time.

    One would have hoped that FIFA would have used proactive foresight rather than reacting to issues when the technology is already available and this is what has made critics voice their disproval. Other sports have been employing technology when it became available to make the sports fairer and FIFA is going to need to find a balance between technological advances whilst keeping excitement in the game.

  • Comment number 24.

    Every offside/onside. Every penalty claim. Every foul, handball, dodgy tackle, corner, throw in. Every time Arsene or SAF or Mourinho feel like protesting.

    This is a tricky question that could open lots of worm cans if not implemented carefully.

  • Comment number 25.

    It's time to learn from the guys with the oval balls:

    1) Goal line technology
    2) "Citing" for fouls, dives or other unfair play which the ref and assistants don't spot
    3) Penalty goals for deliberate handball between the posts

    Refs also need to be better trained in the area of fouls/fair tackles where a player falls after the ball is won.

  • Comment number 26.

    Oh for crying out loud your team was not good enough, stop playing on these tiresome excuses and accept the reality of the situation.

  • Comment number 27.

    Every four years I tune in to the world cup. It is the only football I ever really watch and I have just been amazed by the lack of honour or sportsmanship shown by any of the players. When Lampard scored against Germany why can't the German goalkeeper show any sense of integrity or decency to tell the referee that the ball did in fact cross the line. It makes me lose faith in humanity. Take for example suarez against Ghana, why can't he accept that his team perhaps deserves to lose and retain his dignity with his head held high that he contibuted to his team's best record in years.

    I don't think the ref can be blamed for the aforementioned decision against England personally, but when I watch Wimbledon every year and see that fairness is upheld it makes football look like an absolute joke. Seriously the fact that millions of people around the world can see a goal and because one person can't the goal is not allowed. You can't really get a more objective truth than seeing a video replay. It would be so easy just for an extra ref to watch the tv coverage and speak to the ref through an ear piece. I REALLY don't see what the problem is for FIFA. FIFA's excuses of providing talk or whatever are seriously some of the stupidest reasons I've ever heard.

  • Comment number 28.

    I'm with paksta....goal line incidents are a tiny fraction of the decisions with which a referee needs help. Offsides are the most common, penalty decisions, diving, professional fouls can all be detected better by cameras and a 4th official.

    weezer316....."plus its something to talk about" this is the type of attitude that keeps football in the dark ages. That you believe that football is better off for bad decisions really is very sad.

    And I've got news for you, football no longer starts at 3:00pm and finishes at 4:40pm like 20 years ago. Games are taking 2 hours now and the fluidity of football was lost a long time ago when FIFA refused to clamp down on diving and cheating.

    This is now rife in football and along with their archaeic methods of arbitration signals the decline of the sport unless they make radical changes.

  • Comment number 29.

    To answer point 2 the technology is that quick, particularly with the chip in the ball system, that referees would now within a second whether it was a goal or not and could award it as such. The unlikely scenario you describe where a counter-attacking team scored form a long punt up field would never get that far because the ref would have already awarded the goal. It takes longer than a second to break away and score so the ref would have already awarded the goal before they had a chance to score.

    I don't really get what you're talking about with regards to throw-ins and appeals, surely the only thing being discussed here is goal line technology and the ability to decide whether a goal's been scored or not. Although the appeal system is used in football and tennis that's not what anyone is suggesting happens with football.

    It seems FIFA and IFAB have been waiting for the furore to die down in the hope that these controversial incidents would go away. But it was only a matter of time before there was an incident like this in a big game that could have had a significant effect on the outcome. I'm not saying England would have won if the goal had been given, Germany were by far the better team in the second half, but had it been given who knows how each team would have come out and played in the second half had it been 2-2 instead of 2-1.

    As for the argument that FIFA want football to be the same whether it's a World Cup match or a park match, well they're completely different already so giving that as a reason not to introduce the technology is a joke. I play in a local league and we don't have assistant refs there, sometimes we don't even have a proper ref officiating so already it's completely different. Surely refs want all the help they can get, they want to get the big decisions right and it's about time they were given access to the technology and equipment that can help them do that.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    And as for the extra officials argument, what if one assistant says it crosses the line but the ref and the other assistant weren't convinced? Surely that debate between them will take far longer than an instant technology-based decision.

  • Comment number 32.

    Oh, and the answer is american football.

    But FOUR challenges for the managers.

    The fourth offical given an IMPORTANT role for a change in that he can review video evidence that looks at ball crossing line, penalty decisions, clear offsides that led to goals and off the ball incidents.

    The fact that there are a horde of refs officiating at a US football game is by the by. 15 a side, massive pile-ups...their numbers ensure they usually get it right, but the fourth official is there with the video evidence just in case.

    I don't advocate having seven or eight officials in a game of soccer. Just four challenges, max two per half (to stop end of a game becoming a mockery, as a lost challenge loses a timeout in US football....not applicable over here) and only for specific incidents.

    I'd give four or five games, it will just seem the norm. And rightly so.

  • Comment number 33.

    Whatever happens, Sepp Blatter should stand down from FIFA.

    Blatter rejected referee assistance technology prior to the World Cup. His decision has affected everything. Germany are a good team when leading. England would have had every chance at 2-2. The mere fact that a poor Spain side and a lucky Netherlands side have got thru to the finals implies that England could have been there easily enough this year.

  • Comment number 34.


    i believe that the Cairos system gives an alert to the referee within a second if the ball crosses the line. So play can be continued accordingly (i.e. if the ball didn't cross the line so no alert)

  • Comment number 35.

    It's all well and good FIFA saying they want the game to be same at grass roots as it is in the professional level.

    Except people's livelihoods aren't on the line at grass roots level. People aren't paying hundreds, even thousands, of pounds to follow their team at grass roots level.

    FIFA need to move out of the 19th century and realise there is a reason it is called amateur and professional levels.

  • Comment number 36.

    Opinions like #2 make me shake my head sadly.

    FIFA's belated acceptance of goal line technology should be just the start. After all, the fraction of correctable errors involving goal lines is tiny.

    Early on in the World Cup - before the Lampard 'goal', Kim Clijsters, daughter of two time World Cup player Leo, suggested (in a tweet) that FIFA introduce a challenge system like in tennis, with two challenges a game. Here's how it could work (the extrapolation is mine, not hers):

    A challenge system allows the captains of teams to challenge the most egregious of mistakes. The two unsuccessful challenges per game means there won't be frequent challenge-related stoppages of play = football is not going to become like American Gridiron.

    Bear in mind that the decisions most likely to be challenged - like a good goal ruled offside, or a bad goal ruled onside, or a red card - result in a natural break of play anyway.

    When the challenge is made, the on-pitch ref asks a fourth official with the tv guys to look at tv replays (which can even be the standard ones) to see if there's a good reason to change the decision. Now, TV replays come pretty fast to your screen - those folks in the backroom are incredible - and that's the time scale we're operating at here, not several minutes as luddite detractors would suggest.

    There are many incidents where you can never tell for sure what happens. In that case, the original decision stands.

    (Sometimes the official when seeing the replay may even find something to penalize the challenging team.)

    Anyway, if the original decision stands, the team loses the challenge. With only two per game, teams will be careful about what to challenge. They won't challenge, for example, most diving incidents against them unless they result in a penalty or an early red card.

    The limited usage - at most four unsuccessful challenges a game - will mean that most decisions remain at the referee's discretion, which is the spirit FIFA wishes to preserve.

    There will still be several errors not caught by a challenge system - but that's cool. We're not looking for a system that fixes everything. We're looking for a system that fixes something.

    Besides, if opponents of technology wanted to have a moral leg to stand on, they would have banned referees' headsets a long time ago.

  • Comment number 37.

    It is revealing that the headline photo shows English footballers statuesque and immobile. How many similar shots of our lumpen clods were there?
    The non goal was similar to many incidents in any game that you can moan about, dive-earned free kicks, incorrect offside decisions, lucky deflections, cackhanded goalkeeping but ultimately these are professionals who are in the trade and they should never have let a wayward decision affect their next efforts.
    In Englands case there was barely a response. Germany could have have plundered ten goals against a gutless side (not a team) more intent on being riven by petty differences than being inspired by a sense of injustice.

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    How would Fifa rig matches or "influence" matches if they chance these systems?

  • Comment number 40.

    You don't even need technology to sort these problems out. Following the system used in American football, you could have seven officials on the field of play: referee, who takes overall charge of the game, two assistants on each side of the pitch, each covering a quarter of the pitch, and one assistant behind each goal, covering goalmouth incidents including disputed goals. The system would operate exactly as it does now, except that each line assistant would cover a quarter of the pitch only, making offside decisions easier, and the goal-line assistants would flag for goalmouth infringements from corners and free-kicks and when the ball crosses the line. Seven pairs of eyes instead of three would also make spotting off-the-ball incidents much easier.

    Now have fun picking holes!

  • Comment number 41.

    I think technology has enhanced Rugby League. Football is full of cheats that play to the whistle and who can blame them, you would never let your team down by saying you had fouled etc.
    The argument about technology holding the game up does not stack up purely because players currently use any means necessary to do precisely that. Just look at the last three minutes of England-Slovenia.
    It's about time footy had a proper countdown clock that stops whenever the ref wants it to, and has technology that looks at events leading to a goal should the ref have doubts about tackles or offside, just as in Rugby League....otherwise what a message our hard working premiership players are being allowed to send to the next generation.
    Personally I think the ref and assistants should be the only ones to use it, after all it's them that should be controlling the game not the players or coaches.

  • Comment number 42.

    "Supposing there is an incident where the ball just crosses the line but the goalkeeper gathers the ball, then punts the ball 80 yards for his striker who beats the offside trap whilst the opposition defense are appealing for a goal, and he slots it home."

    Seeing as at least with the first technology discussed the ref knows instantly a goal is scored, your argument seems fairly flimsy. They could even put a buzzer and flashing lights around the goal that go off instantly (ice hockey style) or whatever. I am fairly sure the slow decisions of things like cricket and tennis are more to do with sponsorships/advertising than any technical need to slow things down as much as they do anyway.

  • Comment number 43.

    Interesting topic of should we have technology in football or not. However, any answer is already moot as we do have technology in football which allows the rest of the world to see these mistakes via video replays.

    The problem with the game is simply that the referee's decision is final. Change this! We all know Lampard scored, so the actual result was Germany 4 : 2 England. Although, all reports still show it as a 4:1 win to Germany.

    Treat it in the same way that Formula One is administered. Incidents in Formula One occur quicker, are more dramatic and are also always dealt with correctly.

    So, decide the outcome of a game at the end with the referee's decison not being final. If a mistake was made by the referee during the game then fix it afterwards. This way Capello would have known that the goal would be added back so would have resumed after half time knowing it was currently a draw, etc. Removes that "this incident changed the game".

    Offside goals are then removed, bad fouls that did not result in yellow or red cards can be dealt with afterwards, players diving can be addressed, etc.

    There will still be enough debate over decisions that this won't effect such as bad line calls and onside players being regarded as offside that the game will retain it's insanity value.

    At the moment football as it stands is farcical and simply not worth watching. I personally cannot be bothered to watch the games anymore. I just check BBC sports now later and see who won what and what bad refereeing decisions were made during the game.

  • Comment number 44.

    Tim 41, you're right about timekeeping. Some games involving the Italians eight years ago the ball was in actual play for a few minutes more than the time allotted for just one half! I can almost believe they'd still be playing now.
    Roll over on the ground as much as you like but you aint wasting no spectator time if you is clocked.
    Also no substitutes, unless for injury, after ninety minutes. The gross timewasting at the end of a game is an insult to paying fans. No fans, no wages.

    Some of the biggest changes to the game can be made by an independent timekeeping system visible to the entire ground, sin bins for minor infractions, and automatic red cards and long unpaid bans for dissent.

    Goalline technology is the least of the problems to be sorted out.

  • Comment number 45.

    Any doubts about the need for changes: check out this group on facebook South Africas 2010 "mistakes"

  • Comment number 46.

    It is all well and good to keep complaining about bringing in technology but if it happens then everything becomes open for technoligy to be used for. As for the referral system, if a team conceeds a goal from an offside position and reffers the decision, the goal will be ruled out, this however does not swing the other way, what happens if a striker gets played in 1 on 1 and gets flagged offside when he wasn't, this is not fair to the attacking team because they can't start the play again with that advantage.

    I would be happy to bring in a system that lets the referee know within 3 seconds if the ball has crossed the line or not but anything that takes longer than that should not be allowed.

    Also with bringing in that goal line technology, it would not have made any difference to Ireland when France knocked them out because of the handball because technology should only be used to see if the ball does or does not cross the line. The only reason technology works in other sports is because the play has already stopped and having a pause in play will not effect anything, unlike football which is a fluid game that hardly ever stops

  • Comment number 47.

    where does one start, well at least the anti's are in a minute minority, our team? to which one do you refer? the one with the "goal" chalked off or the the ones scored against from well off side? its about getting the right decision not sour grapes by the way, and whats all this guff about appeals? 3 or 4 or they are gonna waste time by appealing, have you watched a game?, defenders put their arms up for offside, for deadball, throw-in ,handball etc,its just trying it on for the most part, does this stop the game? ref checks for a flag and calls it as is, end of, same as he would with more technology, only difference being he would have more idea of what to blow for, so the game runs on and then maybe he pulls it back, yep, same as now! he looks to give advantage then pulls it back or waits and then cards someone,part and parcel of the sport, doesnt appear to be part and parcel of any other major sports , human game human error, thank god car manufacturers dont share that view, brake lights out for a start, that would give some talking points, wont be the same game as on the park? well again other sports dont seem to have that concern, there should be everthing possible to help the officials run the game as best they can, replays, goal-line tech the lot, reff would use them so HE was sure, retro-spective cards and downgrading of too, too many people going down with facial injuries that dont exist, what about kaka's sending off and that bloke in the nets that went over, course it wont happen yet will it, and thats the real Grrrrr, lol,

  • Comment number 48.

    One more thing, I beleive that in regards to diving by players, if they are seen to be diving to win penalties etc on video then they should at least be suspended and fined after the match because at the moment all that happens is they get a bad name for diving, and when you get paid as much as they do, who cares about having a bad name. If a dive wins a penalty that changes the result of a game then perhaps the officials should have the power to strip points from the team and then players will not want to dive anymore

  • Comment number 49.

    Bias is a natural phenomenon. Even the complainants are biased. Nobody talks about the bad calls against African teams neither does FIFA apologize for any bad call against African teams. After all, FIFA later announced that the only goal Argentina scored against Nigeria in their first match should have been disallowed. In Nigeria's second match against Greece, the referee was deceived into awarding a one-sided red card against Nigeria due to a Greek player's simulation and that changed the result of the match. Any error in officiating that is not against England or U.S.A doesn't get any media attention. So who is accusing who of bias?

  • Comment number 50.

    weezer316 .. you clearly are a dinosaur or someone who does not love the game. Every time the ref makes a glaring mistake it brings the sport into disrepute. All the other world sports are laughing at FIFA.

    Cant believe you offer that old Jimmy Greaves line that its something to talk about afterwards.

    What is the point of two teams going at it for 90+ minutes against each other in the full knowledge that a 3rd element unrelated and external to the two competing teams is allowed to make a rule breaking mistake which ultimately decides the outcome.

    On second thoughts I don't think you are serious .. methinks you area WUM ..from scotland no doubt.

  • Comment number 51.

    Keep It Simple Simple...
    Video Technology will work in the long run (plz don't think short-term solutions). There are problems with a "chip in the ball" ...
    VT is being used in the U. S. A and Canada - NFL, NHL, and so on.
    Have a small group of judges monitor the game on a terminal. They are connected to the Ref with a "two-way radio". At the end of the game, the Ref adds some xtra time (as they do now - injury time).
    2) To keep the game faster and interesting - Have more than 3 subs, maybe 6 - this way we get "fresh" legs when the players are tired or injured AND gives other players more playing time. Makes tooo much sence to me - 'ow about you...?

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    What a Farce this is , right lets get this stright .. before the world cup henry handles the ball TWICE !!!!! everyone complains Fifa say no technology will be used in any means thousands of irish fans are left hopless as france pass only to stink up the world cup .. skip forward 4-5 months its the world cup its england everyone complains all of a sudden its a problem .. sound like fifa worried about the big england tv money deal and trying to keep the fat cats happy . the big teams always get there way dont they

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    Well, you need to ask yourself three questions:

    Has the use of technology improved Rugby?

    Has the use of technology improved Tennis?

    Has the use of technology improved Cricket?

    The answer to all three questions is a resounding YES.

    The players like it, the Referees/Umpires like it, the audience (live or TV viewers) like it......

    Any change is always opposed by the same kind of Luddites who probably opposed the change in the back-pass rule.

    'Nuff said.

    Cheers, Will

  • Comment number 56.

    Btw, there is another ridiculous thing which is mystifyingly backwards about football: why is there not an official time keeper for the games? What is this business about how much stoppage time there is going to be, time wasting, etc. It's completely ridiculous! All you need is a man with a stop watch who stops it when the ref blows his whistle and starts it when the play starts up again, it's a perfectly obvious solution in a world where match fixing is not a major problem. It is perfectly simple, even elemetnary to award an exactly correct amount of stoppage time, and in every other major sport in the world it would be inconceivable not to have the clock monitored in an exact way that would be fair and impartial to all. The current system used in football is counter-intuitive, at best, and seems to have been designed to make it easier for matches to be fixed. If the right team is not winning the referee can always add a few extra minutes, or if the wrong team looks like they are threatening to score a late equalizer the referee can take a few minutes off... This manipulation of the time at least "seems" to happen on a regular basis, and irregardless of all that it is simply bizarre that the timekeeping is not done in an exact, impartial way (as is the case in every other sport). Even in boxing, a sport traditionally rife with corruption, there is an official time keeper and these things are not left up to whim and whimsy!

    Football is an apple with a rotten core, that's plain for all to see. At this point it is beginning to hold the game back and undermine football's status as the pre-eminent world sport.

  • Comment number 57.

    FIFA also need to change the rule on goal line hand ball by the defense. A Suarez-type foul should be an automatic goal not a penalty kick. It should be like the goal tending rule in basketball. Awarding a penalty kick rewards the violating team with chance to deny what was a sure goal. The incentive structure is all wrong.

  • Comment number 58.

    There should also be post-game video review of diving. After the game, the referees go through the video and award yellow cards to blatant dives. This way, players will now think twice about diving and the flow of the game is not interrupted by on the spot video reviews. I guarantee you the Robbens and Christiano Ronaldos of the football world will be doing a lot less writhing on the pitch.

  • Comment number 59.

    I'd like to nominate Gareth for FIFA president. He has put very clearly what needs to be done!
    Also Aardman's point about the incentive structure is key. The same point about the Suarez handball applies equally to diving. At the moment the potential gain (penalty and likely goal) far outweighs the potential risk (yellow card) I'd like to see retroactive action taken against people who are clearly trying to cheat - (maybe 3 game ban? or whatever is deemed appropriate) And it should be awarded, even to those who get away with it in the game. The important thing is to make the stick bigger than the carrot. Then players will stop trying it.

  • Comment number 60.

    The problem with FIFA is that it is its own worst enemy. They are a body that answers to nobody but governs like a dictator.

    Dream on about introducing technology into soccer because they behave like a bunch of low class pensioners performing like aristocrats. Aristocrats have a backbone. People the world over questioned whether South Africa could host the World Cup, but never questions this sham body.

  • Comment number 61.

    I think the answer is 2 goalside assistant referees on either side

  • Comment number 62.

    Cameras in and around the goal would perhaps give most help to the ref, not just the yes/no signal of the tagged ball system, and this would keep the option open for future visual assistance for ref in and around the goalmouth.

    On a similar vein, while they've got the lid off, could they install wide angle cameras on each post covering the penalty area and allow post match citing of players for penalty area wrestling. Some of their grappling puts Shirley Crabtree to shame, all done safe in the knowledge that the ref can't have eyes everywhere on a set piece.

  • Comment number 63.

    Good football should be rewarded, foul play, gamesmanship and cheating punished, not the other way round, and it seems everybody is making a point of avoiding the darker side of some refereeing decisions, e.g. influenced by internal conflicts or outside pressures. Technology will reduce the doubts. And I think it should be used retrospectively. I'll bet anyone here that Arjen Robben will crash to the floor writhing, grimacing, clutching his left shin at least once on Sunday after cutting back inside with the defender sticking his leg out for the washing to dry, and Robben possibly being clipped, but then again possibly not. Blatter said confronting violent foul play is more important than simulation but surely any breaking of the rules is important and can be confronted at the same time. There is only one rule book. Let's apply it, not interpret it. A ball that crosses the goal line is a goal. A player receiving the ball situated between the opposing last defender and goalkeeper is offside. Foot up, a tug on the shirt, arms wrapped around a player in the box is as much a foul as outside. Surrounding the referee with your head in his face but with your arms behind your back is as much a yellow card as with your arms not behind your back. I'd rather talk about a great piece of skill in the pub than an unpunished rugby tackle that prevented the skill. What next, we continue to let Raoul Moat roam the countryside just so that we can have something to talk about?

    I thought the referees had started off well in SA, but like in previous competitions, why is it that they've returned to their old ways with the more established nations in the later stages?

  • Comment number 64.

    Are there any reasons to suppose that it is only because either a German or british company is in line to benefit commercially, that the change must be resisted until a company in another, still to be determined country, can come up to the mark?

    I doubt it hugely, but best to be sure, eh??

  • Comment number 65.

    @weezer316 Why does the game have to stop? If the ball hits the post or is swatted out by the goalie and crosses the line. Goal technology or a fourth umpire will immediately inform the referee. If not the referee can still officiate the game as normal until otherwise noted. If team spends more time appealing the umpire then chasing the counter attack then they are a crap team. Other football codes around the world use similar technology or goal umps and no one bats an eyelid over it.

  • Comment number 66.

    Finally, O Lord, it is beginning to sink in.

    If I went out to try and steal a football from a store on the high street, their security system would probably go off before I was a foot past the exit.

    That's pretty good, compared to some of the refereeing decisions in this world cup.

    Sepp Blatter is like the (first) President George Bush:
    On an election-campaigning trip, George Bush went into a supermarket and was completely confused by the bar-code scanner at the checkout. He was so out touch with the rest of the real world, that it's often said he lost him the election because of that.

    Go now, Blatter, while your enemies might allow you to do so with dignity.

  • Comment number 67.

    My thoughts:

    1. We have referees assistants running the touch lines so why not two more running the goal lines. This would preserve some the human element and its only an accident of history that they didn't exist from the start.

    2. Penalty GOAL given when a definite goal has been denied by a handball on the line. Penalty KICK given for denying goal scoring opportunity elsewhere in box.

    3. International refs from smaller countries in the big European/S.American domestic leagues. Helps with experience and consistency.

    4. REALLY reinforce the idea that the benefit of the doubt should be given to attacking teams in regard to "line ball" offsides.

    5. The swift retirement of Blatter.

  • Comment number 68.

    Is it just me or are there easier ways to achieve the desired effects of avoiding another incident like in the England Germany match? Can I suggest the following two ideas to FIFA:

    1: Make the cross-bar square instead of round. This should greatly reduce the chances of the ball hitting the cross-bar and going straight down to the goal-line. Some very simple research can be done on this to see the greatly reduced probability of the ball skimming the underside of the bar and going straight down. It should either go through to the goal or bounce back out.

    2: Make the floor inside the goal slope away or downwards as it goes towards the back of the goal. This would make sure that the ball stays inside the goal if it hits the ground behind the goal line. A further step could be to have the floor inside the goal, be a layer of sand about 6 inches deep.

    Both these ideas could be tried out and would be far more simple than the types of technology being discussed.

    just a thought...

  • Comment number 69.

    Number 67: Pretty much agree with you there, although why not use video instead of extra refs? Oh, and your #5 should be #1

  • Comment number 70.

    The technology issue sums up football/soccer to me. It operates under rules that have not evolved to keep up with player fitness, coaching methods and skill levels over the last 50 years.

    FIFA is unable or unwilling to evolve soccer to be the World's most exciting game, as it should be! Instead we are subjected to draw after draw with games that are as exciting as a game of chess to non chess players.

    The World cup should have been a show case for Soccer instead of the complete turn off it was for most of us.

    FIFA wake up we are in the 21st century, technology is only part of Soccer's problems.

  • Comment number 71.

    It's a shame it takes a team to be eliminated from the world cup before anythings done!!!

    As the guy from comment #2 said... camera's in the goal probably wouldn't work, which is probably why Fifa are talking about and extra 2 linesman.
    BUT... If it gets rolled out across the league, how far down the league's will it go? Don't forget its the acctual teams that pay for a ref and linesman. With lower league teams going bankrupt on a regular basis nower days - Is it really fair for them to pay out even more money?

  • Comment number 72.

    Number 71. Explain, please, why cameras in the goal wouldn't work. They worked pretty well in the Lampard incident.

    Also, how far down the Leagues does it go? Easy, it would be up to each league (and each competition) to decide for themselves whether to use it. Leagues can choose not to implement if they want, but would need to be aware that, for example, the Champion's League would be using it.

  • Comment number 73.

    Not only technology for goals should be brought in, there should also be stiff penalties for those caught blatantly cheating, i.e German goalkeeper saw the ball over the line,Thierry Henrys handball, both send out the wrong message to young footballers, that you can get away with cheating . Finally when an incident like the Suarez handball happens, football should go down the same road as Rugby & award a goal.

  • Comment number 74.

    It is difficult to believe that FIFA will give up one of their vehicles for controlling the game (the game that is not the sport) but perhaps these rumours are correct.

    Obviously these changes (if made) won't stop FIFA influencing the outcome of the Spain - Holland match but could make future games less contrived.

    From the sounds of it, these changes also won't change the obvious errors made by unqualified officials, something FIFA seems to encourage. A chip in the ball won't stop Argentina from scoring while obviously off-side. Nor will it stop France from handling the ball or correct any of the numerous errors made by World Cup officials. Camera angles will detect those errors (as we've all seen on the televised games) but if FIFA will not allow technology to correct poor officiating why bother changing?

    Of the 2 approaches cameras can be the only option. First they detect more than a missed goal and second they provide visual proof to the officials, the fans and FIFA of what really transpired on the field. Video can also be archived and used for any number of unseen situations and it does not affect the ball (I realize the chip is very light weight and not likely to affect the game but why take the chance of altering the ball and opening the door for another conflict?).

    Well done Mr. Lampard, you may have been denied your goal and may have been unfairly eliminated from the tournament but you just might have corrected the game for us, for Mexico, for Ireland, for the USA and for all the others who suffered the abuse of FIFA officiating.

  • Comment number 75.

    I don't understand why the fuss is being made about the goal line technology. Given you could probably count in one hand the number of goals chopped off in the Premiership last season, that actually crossed the line. Once in 62 games so far does not feel like a major issue, except the fact it happened to England had it been to Honduras I think it would have been forotten about long ago.
    I think there are bigger problems to be sorted out in the officiating of football matches. I get fed up watching a player get flagged for offside when he is clearly on purely because the linesmen are frightened to give the benefit of the doubt to the attacker or because they react to a centre half putting his hand up. How many penalties decisions are given incorrectly or players sent off/ not sent off? These decisions can just as easily influence the result of the game.

    I would introduce the goal line technology but would also like to see the 4th official having a more influential role in the game. He should be watching the game on a monitor on the sidelines and communciating to the referee when he has missed a major decision. This would not disrupt the flow of the game as the 4th official could review the decision in about 30secs max and would only be stopping the game if it was necessary and for a decision that would have stopped it anyway. Given a linesman can do this when he sees an off the ball incident the referee missed why not let a 4th official do it as well.

  • Comment number 76.

    Regarding the need to maintain universality in the sport, this has always struck me as an idiotic argument. How can you compare the world cup final with a Sunday League match? Although the rules are the same, they are different sports. One is amateur, the other professional, whether you like it or not this makes a huge difference.
    Get 28 cameras down hackney marshes and pay each player a win bonus of £100k each, then you might have an argument.

    As for technology in football, I was generally against it until I watched the hockey world cup earlier this year. No-one has mentioned hockey but introducing technology to that sport at the top level had all the same questions as people are putting forward now, as it is far more similar to football than the often cited tennis, cricket and rugby. Granted, there is not the world scrutiny but the players in the final cared just as much about winning it as the Dutch and Spanish will on Sunday. The problem in hockey, as in football, was that the game had become just too fast at the top level for umpires to physically be able to see everything.

    In televised hockey, each side has a single challenge per half, and they keep the challenge if it is correct. They can only challenge for goal, penalty corner etc incidents and only as soon as the ball has gone dead. If the challenge was correct then play goes back to where the incident took place, if not it carries on from where the ball went dead. Each challenge that I saw lasted between about 10 - 30 seconds depending on the complexity of it, no time at all really, and it was such a breath of fresh air to see decisions overturned where you could see on tv they were obviously incorrect.

    If an 'incident' occurs but then a goal is scored at the other end it still works fine - no challenge can happen until the ball is dead so the goal would either stand or be reversed because there was some prior cheating up the other end before the goal, no problem there.

    If there is a minute to go and you still have your challenge left I saw players deliberately challenge to waste some time but it is over in seconds and the ref can add time on and book the player for time wasting. In hockey the clock is stopped while the challenge takes place so it's not an issue.

    And as for the 'something to talk about' argument - personally I'd far rather talk about a great goal or an end to end game than a terry henry handball or how fifa keep coming up with ridiculous arguments to avoid using technology.

  • Comment number 77.

    I guess i am old fashioned as i do not want technology in football, better ref's with common sense and consistency yes, and i am sure every fan who loves football would be happy. Officials from obscure Nations who take charge of sunday parks football should not get big games imo. Fifa are responsible for the Tevez goal against Mexico that linesman was not good enough. The two decisions which have got Fifa looking to change the rules were simple decisions which officials got wrong simply as they were not up to the job. Players dont help with there imaginery card waving and diving to win penalties but there is a simple fix a straight red card? This would then stop as quickly as it started.

  • Comment number 78.

    First, Blatter should resign forthwith. He is stuck in the past with some romantic notion of the game while the rest of us watch instant replays of errors that could change the course of the game. Goal-line technology can give almost immediate indication to the ref (e.g. audible beep via wireless microphone) that the ball has crossed the line just like hawkeye in tennis - job done. It's hard enough to score a goal in ordinary play but to have one dissallowed because the ref or linesman didn't see it is ludicrous when the technology is available. To not use the technology because it's not available on the suburban pitch is just a laughable argument - so hawkeye shouldn't be used in tennis tournaments because the local Sunday matches can't afford it!!!!!

    FIFA needs a cleanout of dinosaurs and sundry hangers-on

  • Comment number 79.

    All this seems costly, if noble. Can small local teams afford this? FIFA et al, should look at the Irish GAA (Irish football and hurling association) system. At ALL levels, shools to inter-county matches, there are TWO line judges, one on either side of the goal at each end. Hurling is the second fastest team game in the world (after Ice hockey) and the ball is tiny, and it travels VERY fast. so this system WORKS!!
    This would free up the linesmen to worry up to the corner flag, and not after. The Irish system is free (they are all amateurs, no one is paid), works at all levels and there is no let up, unlike in Rugby or Ice hockey, where time is taken to look at video, and NOT at all levels. These officials would be paid (in Football) a similar rate as the linesmen.

    This system would have cleared up instantly the Thierry Henry fiasco,the England goal, and possibly the Mexico goal, among others as the linesman has only to worry about the player, and has two extra sets of eyes to help. ALSO, and FUNDAMENTALLY important, the game does NOT slow down. Go see ANY GAA match, and see how it works..... no TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKDOWN either.... Eyeball MK1

  • Comment number 80.

    3 appeals, like in tennis - is the way forward for me. If a decision is made, and appeal is made but it is incorrectly challenged, then you lose one of your appeals.

    The appeal has to come from the manager or that captain - so you can't just have appeal after appeal - and given you only have three means you aren't likely to challenge something like a throw in unless you are absolutely sure.

    This would mean less diving - a correct appeal should lead to a yellow card and can be challenged straight away.

    And for those who think it would take too much time - in the Mexico game the whole world - including those on the pitch - knew that it was offside before they had even reconvened for the kick-off after the goal.

    And going down the way of hockey - challenges must be done as soon as a ball goes dead means you won't have challenges minutes after the event.

    Implement this with goal line technology which buzzes on the refs arm if scored and I'm sure that some of the worst aspects of the game can be addressed.

  • Comment number 81.

    In response to Weezer 316. I think you have missed the point! This is for points scoring decisions, like in tennis and Rugby league except we call the points goals. They will not be using the goal line technology for a throw in or a corner as it is goal line decisions they are focused on. The players will not be able to call for the replays either. It is a tool for the officials to help with unclear incidents. I also doubt whether it will be used for penalty claims either. These will still be governed in accordance with human judgement as there is a neccesity for human error, luck and authorative responsibility and reputation that the referee still has to maintain for the rest of the game. Anyway They have to introduce this on a goals only basis where it is unclear to the officials. There is a valid point though that this may dampen conversations of 'if only' and 'how didn't it' to a degree however it will mean the conversation moves to different aspects as it always does.

  • Comment number 82.

    Football is obviously a victim of it's success and because of it's popularity has been far more resistant to change. Here's my tuppence worth:

    1) Countdown clock external from ref that is stopped when the referee signals and restarts. Ref won't miss anything looking at his watch and everyone knows how long is left.

    2) Revolving substitutes with no stoppages for subs (you run off and run on at neutral point on the field). Winds me up watching the substitutes taking an age to come on with 1 minute to go and would make game faster plus allow more tactical play since you could bring on more attackers if you slip behind and defenders to sure things up if you go ahead.

    3) Players must be treated off the field. If the game is held up for a player to receive treatment (ie he can't make it off the field on his own legs) then he should not be allowed to rejoin the game and must be substituted. The way players feign injury to slow the game down is ruining it and if you can't make it to the sidelines I don't think you should be "risked" aggravating what must be a serious injury.

    4) Video referrals but only 1 appeal for each team. If you make an appeal and it turns out you were wrong, then you have no argument if the ref turns out to be wrong on another occassion (since both of you made mistakes). Giving only 1 means it lessons the chance of "tactical" appeals to kill breaks etc. This argument about well the ball has to go out of play is nonsense as the game stops all the time at the moment for injured players etc.

    5) Post-match bans for diving and abuse of officials. I know both are already offences to be dealt with by the referee but quite frankly they are not strong enough to deal with certain well known players who are notorious for diving/swearing. I would like sin binning for these offences but I don't think the refs would be strong enough to impose it so it seems it has to be dealt with after the game. What is certain is that teams should not be allowed to do these things and get off without any kind of punishment.

  • Comment number 83.

    In response to 'aardman's' comments:

    I definitely agree with post game reviews of the dives, with some form of punishment meted out to those individuals. FIFA is 'sooo' concerned with maintaining the pace of the game but does nothing to eliminate the one thing that stops the game the most. I'm not an expert but I would say faking a foul or an injury is the thing that most slows down the game. These actions also denigrate the game to the level of televised wrestling. How many times have we seen a player writhing in agony, carried off on a stretcher only to return, in a matter of seconds, with no visible affects? Make the players play the game not compete for an Academy award.

    With respect to a defender stopping obvious goals with their hands, that too needs to be reviewed. Defending players are actually encouraged to cheat, they are exchanging an obvious goal for a penalty kick, why not take the penalty. The ball is going in unless they cheat and might not go in on a penalty shot.

    Come on FIFA, get with the program. Quit pretending this is a school field event played by a group of friends on a quiet Sunday afternoon. This is a multi-billion pound enterprise, played and managed by some of the richest people in the world.

  • Comment number 84.

    I distinctly remember a 'you are the ref' feature in Shoot! magazine when I was a kid, where Clive Thomas stated that in the situation where a player stopped a certain goal with his hands, he would give a goal not a penalty kick.
    Can't remember exactly what law he said allowed him the leeway to make this decision - would be interested to find out though. Anyone else remember that?

  • Comment number 85.

    Cricket, Tennis, rugby, all games that have adapted to changing technology and have brought in video replays. What is the difference between a try being scored and a goal being scored. There cannot be the mass use of television replays for all sorts of decisions, it wont work as football is a far more fluid game than those above but goal-line technology is a must. The use of the additional 2 officials could probably help most decisions as to whether a goal is scored or not, problem being when a ball crosses a line and there is an obstruction by the players, in that case, go to goal-line technology. It would have taken an additional official all of 3 seconds to inform the referee in the England game that the ball had crossed the line, likewise the Tevez goal, 3 seconds, yes, definitely offside. The other games that I have mentioned above have been very specific in relation to what it is the referee/umpires can ask for, especially in rugby. In rugby, if the referee asks the video ref if there is 'any reason why I can't award the try'- the only thing that the video referee can look at is the grounding of the ball, he can't look at an offside or a knock on 30 seconds previously as the decision is already deemed to be made on that. In football, when a goal is scored or a goal is thought to have been scored, the referee stops the play, video official if needs be and it has not been seen by the additional officials, 5 seconds later, goal or no goal. If no goal, drop ball where played was stopped, continue the game. The referees pick the ball up enough for injuries etc that they can surely do it for deciding whether or not a goal has been scored. Had they had video technology in the France v Ireland game or a 5th and 6th official, France would maybe not even have been at the World Cup, all you have to do is ask the question, was there a handball? If Blatter has been saying that they cant have technology due to there being a need to have all games uniform across the world then I heartily agree with those comments about tennis and cricket and rugby, I have been involved in countless games where decisions have been debated yet you can do nothing about them. Hawk-eye and video refs were deemed to have been necessary in tennis, cricket and rugby because of the amount of money at stake, especially for the winners. Football is a multi-billion pound industry, there is too much at stake nowadays to ignore the need to develop.

  • Comment number 86.

    I can't believe Blatter has rejected the idea of a penalty goal out of hand (pardon the pun). It really is a no brainer, and I agree with Former_Canuck on this one - trading a certain goal for the possibility of a penalty miss or save encourages cheating. FIFA should change this rule as soon as possible.

  • Comment number 87.

    #6: Originally, my reaction to your slope behind the goalline suggestion was "what a simple and great idea". But unfortunately, it wouldn't always work. There have been instances where the ball has crossed the line in the air and the keeper has scooped it back out without the ball touching the ground. Also, if you check the goal that Crystal Palace scored against Bristol City last season - the ball hit the back upright of the posts and bounced clean back out, but the goal wasn't given by the ref/linesman. It never hit the ground on the way in or out, if I remember correctly.

  • Comment number 88.

    Would we have made such a fuss if this disallowed goal was against us.No argument it was a poor decision, but it doesn't detract of how bad the England team were.The argument rumbles on still of the decisive 1966 goal against Germany.How many photos,physics experts,mathematic folk still argue still try to find evidence to prove whether it was or wasn't yet it was key to England winning the cup,but again what if it had been against us.The Spurs goal at Old Trafford the other year was further over the line than Lampard's disaloud goal but not given,had that been against MU there would still be an ongoing inquest.Like it or not these things happen,some you win some you don't because that's all part of sport.Please though don't let football go down a path of decisions being made not by on the pitch officials but electronic aids because they are rare and your view depends whether it's your side or the other.
    We went out not over this goal but because the players just are not good enough and were well beaten by a superior German team.

  • Comment number 89.

    fifa showed they true face by seeding the european wcq.
    they showed its all about money.MAFIA

  • Comment number 90.

    Captain Fatty for FIFA President! For the Hall of Shame idea alone... how about setting up a channel for it on YouTube? Call it "Little Michael Owen's Big Book of World Cup Dives"?

  • Comment number 91.

    Interesting that the link to this blog from the main football page reads "FIFA's reputation on the line".

    Does FIFA have any reputation other than a bad one?

  • Comment number 92.

    Number 88. You are missing the point. Nobody that I know believes England were good enough to beat Germany on the day, but we'll never know now. And that's the point - until these game changing decisions are improved we will never know who would have really been World Champions if they had been made correctly. If the right decisoons had been made Ghana would have been in the semi-final for sure, Mexico and England might have been able to get a result in their matches (however unlikely in England's case). The Lampard "goal" is the straw that broke the camel's back as far as goal line technology is concerned and will hopefully introduce a new era of embracing enhancements at FIFA, such as the penalty goal.

  • Comment number 93.

    Test Cricket and the ODI's all use the technology available when it is appropriate.
    The Amateur game, Sunday League etc do not have that Technology or the benefits of Video Replay, yet manage perfectly well without it.
    The argument the Football should be the same at all levels is utter nonsense. The use of GLT will only be for the benefit of the game overall as it will remove some of the unfairness perceived by fans and players.
    Whether that should be extrapolated into other areas of play is a separate debate, and should be discussed on it's own merits.

  • Comment number 94.

    I have a few points I would like to make here. I love many sports but football stands above the rest and I feel strongly about a number of things surrounding this and the way FIFA is run.

    1) The argument that technology has to be universally applicable is rubbish. Technology has been successfully applied for many years in some cases to sports such as ice hockey (a lot of people forget they have an instant buzzer for when the puck goes in the net), tennis, rugby league and union, cricket, swimming and golf. But do you see this technology at your local sundy league rugby club or down the tennis club, no you don't!!!

    2) If 'Cairos' say they can have an instant signal sent to the referee why can't football, like rugby, implement a system where when a goal is scored the referee simply says to the fourth official "is there any reason why I cannot allow this goal?" The fourth official can then check for offsides and that the ball has gone in and either confirm or deny the goal within 1-2 mins. I personally find it quite exciting waiting for the board to come up to tell you whether it's a try or not, or a wicket or not.

    3) In recent years there has been a lot of focus on respect campaigns (of referees and each other) on the football field. THE PROBLEM IS AND THIS IS A FACT, is that it is humanly impossible to be a good referee or linesman (assistant referee). The game is too fast now and humans will always make mistakes if left unaided. We see it every game with incorrect offsides where when the ball is played forward, in the time it takes for the linesman to move his head just that fraction he is guessing whether the player is offside or not.
    Now won't technology help with this respect and fair play thing because it won't be in the hands of humans anymore. It will be a full proof system and players will not be able to argue with the fully accurate result that comes up on a big screen for all to see. This will take pressure off of all the officials and stop practically all of these little inconsistencies that we see in every game. This is the other problem. We see every weekend in every game that these decisions are being made incorrectly so it is time to change.

    3) Lastly, if Sepp Blatter and his brown nosers were running a multinational corporation would they not have been sacked by now. They are arguably damaging the commercial and international reputation of football. Food for thought, but I think FIFA and a few of their members have got too big for their boots, they are even threatening governments (Nigeria and France) now too!!!
    This reminds me a lot of the fiasco that was the Olympic committee and all the troubles they had around the period before the Olympics went professional. It may be a good idea to implement a system where the FIFA president (as they call themselves) can only run for two terms. That would stop inept, overpowered and outdated thinkers like Blatter sitting as president for term after term after term after term.

  • Comment number 95.

    1. It might shock you to know, that on Sunday the World cup final will have the same rules and be played in the same manner as your sunday pub league game. Nothing quaint cute or romantic about it.
    2. It's not lampards goal, it's that plus, Gallas Goal, plus Tevez offside, plus the hand of god, plus god alone knows how many other incidents in international football.
    3. After the debacle of seeding/not seeding the qualifying rounds, and the hand of Henry, Fifa's reputation is already quite tarnished. There persuit of the Bavaria beer company and young ladies in orange dresses hasn't helped them either, their reputation is dreadful not on line.
    4. I think I will be sending a bill to the BBC because every time you write, you write things that are plain wrong.

  • Comment number 96.

    In fact it should not even be classed as a "penalty goal" a la Rugby (where no player is awarded the try) - just a goal for whoever took the hot.

  • Comment number 97.

    or even "shot"

  • Comment number 98.

    Technology doesn't have to mean cameras/instant replays/breaks in play etc.
    Just a thought...
    Make the area inside the goal, from the goal line backward out of sand. 9 times out of 10, the ball hits the ground before bouncing out of the goal, the sand would take some of the bounce out of the ball, perhaps permit it to take a different angle which would/could leave it in the net instead of bouncing out, at the very least it would leave an impression in the sand which would indicate whether a goal was scored or not.
    This, although nowhere near a perfect solution is an example of a different line of thinking, Maybe there is a different way 'technology' can be deployed. There are alternatives which should also be explored.
    Im all for goals being given when they should be given as these decisions are crucial to the game, I am not a supporter of any other technological advances in football.

    Any thoughts?

  • Comment number 99.

    Both systems were rejected because FIFA does not agree with the idea of sharing sponsorship with these companies.

    But the prices quoted for a 'single payment' (such as the 10m) was obviously exhorbitant.

    Should either quote less OR ask for a much smaller %, I think you'll find that FIFA is happy to go along with either.

  • Comment number 100.

    The idea, especially with the Cairos system is that the referee or the linesmen can't see that the ball has crossed the line, but blows for the goal as soon as it is scored because as it crossed the line the officials are told it has.

    There is no confusion about decisions or conferring about whether or not it crossed. When the chip inside the ball crosses a line behind the goal line to allow for the whole ball to have crossed the referees ear piece goes "GOAL".

    I think it would be a great help if there were a team of 4th officials watching the play who could give real time advice to the referee about contentious decisions by watching from all angles on TV monitors. The hold up to play should be no more than a few moments


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