Goal-line Technology: FCUK/FIFA?

The day is 27th June 2010. The setting is the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein during the World Cup in South Africa. Two old rivals England and Germany collide; So much history between these two countries both on and off the field (two World Wars and one World Cup). Germany are beating England 2-0, but England restore the deficit to one goal thanks to a Matthew Upson header in the 38th minute. Game on…or so everyone thought. Within 60 seconds of the restart, Frank Lampard sends a looping shot over German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer which bounces over the goal line before being recollected by the flapping keeper and the referee waves play on.


By the end of the 90 minutes, Germany progress with a 4-1 win, leaving our nation knocked out of the competition for another four years…goals change games.

At the time I am unsure that all those who bared witness to the ‘goal that never was’ would even consider that it was a catalyst to potentially change football forever. Whether you are English, German or even a FIFA delegate you knew full well that was a goal as good as any. Now the debate on goal-line technology in this country will always be accompanied by the picture of a sprawling Neuer diving into his goal; this was certainly this was the tipping-point which sparked an outcry and took the calls for goal-line technology (GLT) to a whole new level.


Some of us enjoy such talking points; you can’t tell me you don’t enjoy going down the pub with your mates and having some banter about whether a goal should have been allowed or not-especially if you can wind them up if it is there team that has lost out before conceding the truth that you actually agree. But those days are about to end courtesy of Richard Scudamore and the Premier League

The Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore, plans to introduce the equipment in time for the 2012-2013 season.

“The whole point of the game is about scoring goals. Players strain every sinew to either create or deny them, fans shout themselves hoarse exhorting their teams to score them, managers’ and players’ careers can be defined by them. The technology is available, it is the fairness that is important and the Premier League would introduce it tomorrow if it could. Now FIFA is constructively engaged we are hopeful the 2012-13 season is a realistic aim.”


Exciting times, but can it be put into practice? I for one hope so. It would be hugely beneficial to the Premier League to be the world leaders in goal-line technology…but is this going to rub FIFA up the wrong way?


It was funny that after such a show of intent by Scudamore and the Premier League FIFA the next day issued a press-release of their own  stating how they will be testing 9 different systems aiming to ‘possibly’ introducing GLT for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Once again it seems that a body from England is going to be a thorn in FIFA’s side. Fair play to Scudamore for doing this, we can’t wait around forever for one of the most procrastinatory governing bodies in any industry to do nothing.


Scudamore: Aggressive move...looks like T2000

The Premier League could argue that because of the pace of the game we need it more than any other league, it is the hardest league to keep up with play and let’s be honest the ref’s need all the help they can get, but let’s not get too carried away just yet…

There are many factors that may prevent the Premier League from being the first to appease the fans and introduce GLT to football. The obvious one being the countries relationship with FIFA following England’s recently failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup and the controversy over Lord Triesman allegations of corruption. With all the drama that followed, FIFA’s image was undoubtedly tarnished as was that of the FA in FIFA’s eyes and as a wider consequence England. The move by Scudamore will undoubtedly get up the nose of Blatter who already takes a disapproving stance towards our country and it could appear that the world’s most powerful league is throwing its weight around.


If Blatter wants to make this hard, he can. FIFA have the final say in approving the technology for use in the Premier League. It is not certain that the Premier League will be using one of the 9 differing technologies FIFA are testing, so you can see where this will go. FIFA will sign a big fat deal (with kick-backs no doubt) with ‘company X’ who will then become the approved supplier of goal-line technology. So as bold as Scudamore is, this could come back to haunt him and give Blatter some bitter-sweet revenge.


Perhaps Sepp Blatter could be the bigger person and clear the path for the Premier League to be the first to introduce the use of goal-line technology, helping to restore FIFA’s reputation as pragmatists and fix an already strained relationship with English football…but this is Blatter (Pratter) we are talking about.

Red card to the Premier League?


Maybe such an aggressive ‘trump’ by Richard Scudamore is a move to try to win people’s approval of him after his proposal for a franchise 39th game went down like a fart in a lift.


FIFA have already bowed to the increasing peer pressure to introduce technology and we know they don’t like change so this gutsy move could fall flat on it’s face despite FIFA being ‘constructively engaged’…remember the promises of votes, things change in FIFA like the wind.


So will we be seeing goal-line technology in the 2012/13 Premier League season before anywhere else…the jury is most defiantly out!

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  1. The Real Henry Winter ;) says:


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