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Monday, 12 March 2012


In a week where technology giants Apple unveiled a new iPad to shake the world's conventional use of a hand again, Football began another battle with technology and it's uses, it would be almost ironic that in this week of all weeks, that the use of Technology in Football is asked once again.

This Summer, will mark two years since England and Frank Lampard can count themselves unlucky not to score an equaliser in the 4-1 disaster in the 2010 World Cup Second Round against Germany. Although the second half display showed nothing to suggest England deserved to progress, with Football you never know whether had the certain equaliser stood whether England may have completed the comeback. It was from that day that the English media finally started to ask the extremely hard questions on whether technology had to be implemented into football. FIFA continued to deny that they would use it, for several claims. However, they have been lenient in their stance within the last couple of months, suggesting that the next World Cup and upcoming Premier League seasons may have technology tested. However, is it too late?

Technology in Football is a debate that is nothing recent, in fact, when watching Sky Sports', Sky Sports' Years last Spring, hourly programs highlighting Sky's major sporting events within their respective years, I was surprised to see the now defunct Footballer's Football Show in 1991 ask the question whether technology needed to be implemented into football. I'm assured it was no coincidence that editors chose to include this specific clip in the hour, which asks the question, why has it taken so long and so many errors to finally talk Football's chiefs round to even testing such equipment?

Last Saturday, Bolton Wanderers beat Queens Park Rangers in a major clash at the foot of the Barclays Premier League. Should Queens Park Rangers be subsequently relegated, they could lose multi-million pound sums in Television Revenue, Attendance Gates etc. In a club which Mat Hodgson's QPR: Four Year Plan which broadcast last Sunday on BBC2 showed is financially unstable and not arguably set-up for a rapid return to the Premier League should they be relegated, the relegation could be a huge disaster. Every decision a human gets wrong has a seismic effect later on down the road, it is almost equivalent to the cliché “If you kill a butterfly in the past, you could create a nuclear apocalypse in the present.” Whilst some will be quick to crucify referee's and assistants, I, like some others would rather see them aided by available technologies.

There are many elements as to why some people oppose such drastic changes, the usual ones are: “Mistakes are part of the game”, “It would kill the game”, “It would only be used in the high leagues.” Perhaps, mistakes are a major part of the game, however, I'd rather be waking up on a Sunday Morning to my paper's reading headlines of how a great piece of skill won someone the game than another avoidable refereeing decision has cost a team valuable points. Perhaps it would kill the game for time, but rules can be changed, I would not at this present moment advocate technology everywhere, because I think that can destroy a games' fluidity, and you could argue some managers may use it to their tactical advantage. However, it took Sky nearly no time at all to point out that QPR's goal should have stood, surely a referee could deem the ball dead when a contentious decision occurs? When the decision is made, you either start at the centre-circle if it's a goal or as a goal-kick if otherwise. Finally, the money is in the bigger leagues, if Manchester United score a goal against Manchester City, that is more important than if one Blue Square North side scores against the other. I would much rather the top two divisions of at least every major European league and all top level international games have technology than none at all. I'd go as far as every league that can qualify for the UEFA Champions League should have goal-line technology, with funding available to ensure this. It has raged on too long now, it has been a debate that needs to be stopped sooner rather than never.

Those who are not opposed to technology, shall be glad to hear FIFA President Sepp Blatter has changed his stance on the subject after seeing Lampard's 'goal' first hand in 2010 and should testing this month for technology be given a passing mark, we could see technology on the goal-line implemented by the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Whether that's any hope for fans and players of QPR, we don't know and probably wont know the actual affects of the incident on Saturday until May.

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