Goal-line Technology Back On The Agenda

It is one of the most debated points of the beautiful game, and the argument for the introduction of technology in football was bought to the fore again.E ngland midfielder Frank Lampard thought, along with the vast majority of people packed into the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, that his cute lob had pulled England level against Germany. Replays showed the ball to have landed at least a foot over the line, but two men remained unmoved, the referee and his assistant.

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, the most vocal defender of keeping the game 'pure' sat watching in the stands. As the boos rang out at half-time he may well have turned a funny shade of red. It was Blatter, along with football's rule-makers, who in March this year shut the door on goal-line technology and effectively ended any chance of video replays coming into the game. FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said: 'The door is closed. The decision was not to go ahead with technology at all.'

But a number of viable methods have been put forward in recent years, from the simple reference of a fourth official using TV replays to the implementation of HawkEye between the posts. HawkEye is already used successfully in cricket and tennis but is seen by FIFA as having no place in football. Other suggestions, which have both been trialed, are the presence of an extra referee behind the byline and the use of a chip inside the ball which signal to the referee when it had crossed the line.

The use of extra officials was used during last season's Europa League and was an undoubted success despite the lack of a standout moment. The adidas smartball technology was unsuccessfully trialed at the FIFA U-17 World Championship in 2005. In five developmental years the idea has bafflingly not been reconsidered. Yet incidents like the one which damaged England's World Cup hopes keep happening and the impact of the decisions grows ever greater. Having occurred on the grandest stage of all, perhaps Lamparad's 'goal' can now be the watershed moment. Blatter will do well to remember the reaction.

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