Old Futbol Buffet–Goal Line Technology

Besides keeping an eye on Euro 2012, I have been listening to the occasional pod and reading the odd article here and there.  Here’s a quick wrap of what I’ve come across.

As Poland and Greece kicked off Euro 2012, the group at the pub jokingly asked, how long to first controversial goal line decision?  Turns out the Group Stage progressed with very little controversy, Pepe’s near goal against Germany being the only moment I can remember.  But then on the last Match Day, Ukraine, throwing everything forward, nearly equalized against England, which would have put the codifiers of the game under immense pressure as the clock wound down.

Was it a goal or not?  At first the replays were inconclusive, but in the following hours, frames were found where the entire ball did in fact cross the entire line.  So maybe the co-hosts were screwed and knocked out of the tournament.  Sort of.

First of all, Ukraine were very attack minded and dynamic and aggressive but were rubbish in front of goal, except for a couple of glorious minutes from Sheva.  They couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn, and when they did, especially against England, the goalkeeper was there to save.

Second, Rooney’s goal meant that Ukraine would have had to score twice because they had to win the game to progress.  Simple scenario.  The goal would have only gotten them halfway home.

Third, in the buildup, the attacker was offside.  He came from an offside position, won the ball, and then laid it off for his teammate.

Again the claims for technology were raised.  I was of the mindset that it should only be used for goal scoring opportunities.  I figured goals are such a rarity and so key to the game that everyone should at least get that right.  Then I read this post by John Nicholson for Football 365.com and he takes an interesting point of view—in essence that just looking at moments around the goal will start an ever increasing dependence on technology and will create a series of unintended consequences (ie fouls or infringements in the build up that will necessarily be ignored), both of which undercut the role of the referee.  As he sums up,  It solves one problem and creates many, many more.  A better solution instead is to grow up, accept stuff goes wrong when humans are involved and get on with enjoying the game.

Check it out and decide for yourself the role of technology in the Beautiful Game.

Grant Wahl wrote a quick post for SI.com following the controversial decision, and he feels that FIFA and the IAFB are close to introducing goal line technology.  The game is always changing, and this could be a dramatic factor in the future of the game.



Beyond the Pitch is generating great content even during the off season.

Anto had Jeff Bradley on to discuss the early days of the MLS, focusing the on the clusterfuck that was the NY/NJ MetroStars, and the growth of the league almost 20 years in.  Interesting stories and insightful opinions make this a pod with worth listening to.

Eric Wynalda was also on in the wake of Cal FC’s dynamic run through the US Open Cup that ended with a Round of 16 loss to the Seattle Sounders.  Eric was strongly opinionated as usual, covering the current state of US Soccer and how it can improve.  You may not agree with everything he says, but you cannot deny his passion.

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