Is FIFA the worst organization on the planet? I’d say so. World soccer bigwigs have concluded a meeting in Zurich, and they’ve decided against implementing goal line technology at this year’s World Cup. Yes, why would you want to introduce a legitimately helpful technology into a sport that so desperately needs it? Ridiculous.
FIFA’s general secretary, regarding the use of goal line technology at the biggest sporting event in humanity, said, “The door is closed. The decision was not to use technology at all.” It’s not even about whether or not the technology works—two competing systems were vying for FIFA’s attention—but whether or not “the future of [soccer] involves technology or not.”
Of course it does! What kind of organization says, “Technology? Who needs that? Now let’s all hop on our private jets, listen to our iPods, read our nooks, go home, then pretend that everything’s OK.”? FIFA does!
As I understand it, the technology would have been minimally intrusive. One involves a sensor being placed on the ball, which, granted, may not have been practical given how exact the Jabulani was engineered. The other would have used Hawk Eye, which is used in tennis all the time. And if there’s a “stuffier” sport out there than soccer, it has to be tennis.
The point is, you want to believe that the game you’re watching is accurately managed. Referees have a hard enough time keeping up with the likes of Messi and Ronaldo, so why not use a technology that can tell you, instantly and definitively, that a goal is a goal?
Don’t give me that nonsense that, “Oh, soccer is a fluid game, you don’t want it interrupted to double-check whether a goal was a goal or not.” Tell that to the people of Ireland. It’s like, what if the IRS wrote you a letter that said, “Yeah, we’re not 100 percent sure you owe us $10,000 in back taxes, but we’re just going to assume you do. Please send a check within the next 30 days to…”
It’s at this point that I should explain why I’m freaking out. Goal line technology would tell match officials, instantly and definitively, whether or not the ball has fully crossed the goal line—whether or not the goal is valid or invalid. It’s not like in baseball where one umpire’s strike zone differs from the next ump’s. No, a goal is: did the ball fully cross the line or not? It’s a binary operation. Did it cross? Yes? Then it’s a goal. No it didn’t? Then it’s not a goal. Simple as.
I can think of several scenarios where goal line technology would have been helpful. How about the 1966 World Cup final between England and West Germany—you mean to tell me that the ball fully crossed the line right here?
You’re lying through your teeth if you say the ball, indeed, fully crossed the line.
More recently, what about that Champions League game between Liverpool and Chelsea a few years ago? Does the ball cross the line here? We’ll never know because FIFA refuses to embrace the one bit of technology that would, overnight, bring more justice to the sport than any other singular change!
I cannot wait until a “big” country gets screwed over by a goal/non-goal call during the World Cup. I can guarantee than if England gets knocked out of the tournament based on a dodgy goal, one that could have been correctly called using goal line technology, we will not hear an end to the complaining on Sky Sports, in The Daily Mail, in The Guardian, in The Times, in The Sun (oh, God, The Sun will probably explode if that happens) and in every single pub in the country. Only then will FIFA do something about this garbage.