The introduction of goal line technology upon the English footballing top flight, the Premier League, is drawing ever closer. Clubs unanimously voted in favour for Hawk-Eye technology being introduced within stadiums in the Premiership, yet there still remains scepticism towards the technology, by a select a few, most notably UEFA boss Michel Platini, who boldly claimed he would rather use the £50 million Euro cost of introducing the technology on supporting football at the ‘grassroots level’. Regardless of technophobe Platini’s best efforts to justify not using the technology, the decision by FIFA to introduce goal line technology evens the playing field for smaller clubs, which can only be a good thing. Champion Soccer leaders in 5 and 6 aside local football aroudn the UK have said that this level of Goal; Line technology is vital to keep the game moving forward.
Platini’s main argument against implementing goal line technology is due to the cost. This is a poor thought out logic, especially when it is considered just how much money is in the sport of football. These figures show the prize money which is awarded for the resulting finishes in the premier league, with the most interesting section of the table being the lower half. Southampton, Aston Villa and Newcastle all finished with equal points, meaning their standings were reliant upon goal difference, but with the difference in prize money between being 14th-16th place being £1.5 million pound, it is then important to be certain over every goal awarded, especially with the huge sums of money involved. In theory, in high profile games, such as finals, where there are exhaustive amounts of cash at stake, can the sport afford not to have such aids as goal line technology to assist referees?
FIFA finally caved in to pressure and have given the green light for goal line technology to be used within their competitions. The British company Hawk-Eye, most known for their developments within tennis, have secured a contract to provide goal line assistance for the forthcoming season, much to the relief of many frustrated fans, players and coaches alike. With critics being quelled in the process. The main aspect opponents to the system had was that it would disrupt the fluidity of the game; matches would be forever broken up to review play. However, as this video demonstrates, the technology will offer a seamless integration within matches, perhaps more so than is seen in tennis. Referees are signalled when the ball crosses the line, thanks to Hawk-Eye’s innovative camera technology, which removes any arguments based around the disruption of the game. People won’t even know the technology is at work, until a goal has been scored, and this method will ensure that if the ball has crossed the line, then it will always count as a goal.
FIFA rolled out technology similar to Hawk-Eye in the Confederations cup, known as GoalControl, with the same technology to be used within the World Cup in Brazil. All we can do is hope that Platini soon falls in to line and allows UEFA to take up the technology within its competitions. Especially seeing as Brazil is on the verge of bankrupting itself just to hold the World Cup. Platini’s excuse of too high a cost is a fickle escape route.