THE ongoing saga over video technology in football reared its ugly head last weekend, with some dodgy refereeing decisions in Scotland’s Euro 2012 qualifier against the Czech Republic.
As if we weren’t already bored with the argument, it has once again come to fruition after a Czech striker did his best Jurgen Klinsmann impression to win a late penalty.
After the game, captain Darren Fletcher said what we’re all thinking: “For the sake of a few seconds, goalline decisions and big decisions could be resolved instantly.
“I think its something that will eventually happen, we’ll just have to keep suffering while it doesn’t.”
And suffer we shall!
When will FIFA stop messing about and just implement the use of technology? We have seen it work in tennis and cricket, so why has football not followed suit?
FIFA president Sepp Blatter is against the use of such technology, saying it will disrupt the flow of the game and remove the power of the referee.
In June last year he said: “There is only one referee, the basis of our game is one referee.
“Whether you play in youth competition, amateur competition or at the highest level.”
But it is not taking power from referees, rather helping them avoid making stupid mistakes and getting constant abuse from fans and players.
The flow of the game will be disrupted by players reacting to the referee’s decision anyway and so all it would take is for an instant replay, shown to a fifth official, who can then relay the outcome to the referee.
So what are FIFA doing? Besides sitting in their plush offices in Zurich, of course.
Last March the International Football Association Board met to discuss the matter, and decided to implement a year of testing goalline technology, meeting a year later to discuss the findings.
And what happened when the IFAB met this March? There will be a further year’s testing on GLT.
Blatter responded by saying: “It is a question of one year. What is one year? It is nothing. Just a little bit of patience is needed.”
Tell that to Frank Lampard after his ‘goal’ against Germany in the World Cup.
Moreover, with the Euro 2012 qualifiers taking place, tell that to the Republic of Ireland, after the hand of Thierry Henry denied them a place in last year’s World Cup. So who’s the victim?
FIFA need to implement this new technology to ensure football is a fairer sport.
The rise of cheating and dishonesty in recent years has shown a greater need for such measures, measures which will no doubt help reinstate football as ‘the beautiful game’.