The Monday Rant: Technology

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Goal-line Technology?
It never crossed the line...
Image: Retinafunk/flickr

We are certainly never one to miss a bandwagon here at BoroGuide. Especially if it moves nice and slowly, while offering a free in-flight beer and pie (terms and conditions, as they will no doubt tell you, do apply). It comes, therefore, as no surprise to learn that we are in rowdy agreement with the calls for football to become a little more “21st century”.

Football believes itself to be a modern game. But it has been outflanked by cricket, tennis and rugby in the technological age and gets made to look silly for its lack of innovation. It is an issue that we’ll always be forced to revisit, and officials will be maligned for, until the men in suits over in Switzerland stop the navel gazing.

The chances are you can recall at least one howler that could have been easily avoided with the use of technology. That’s the premise of cricket’s Decision Review System – to eradicate the glaring umpiring errors. But we’re not advocating that for football (players already feel empowered enough to eff and blind at referees) – just a mechanism that, y’know, can say if the ball has crossed the line or not.

One idea is a chip that knows if the ball has crossed the line, the visual manifestation being a green light on the fourth official’s monitor; the audible one being a 100db shriek direct to Sepp Blatter’s brain. Instant. Satisfactory. No? If not that idea, then allow Hawkeye boffins to get their hands on football, stick an official up in the TV gantry, and give a more reliable call than simply guessing where the ball is.

We believe technology could be effectively and efficiently used for more than just disputed goals, but our opinion in that sense is irrelevant until football makes that first great leap. It is already long overdue and the only concession made since Alan Shearer burgled that goal against Boro’ in 1998 is the addition of two more assistants. And they don’t exactly do a lot when skulking around in Champions League games.

And now that BoroGuide has now jumped in on the debate, you just watch FIFA cower into submission.

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