Goal line technology: the debate that just won’t go away
After England’s torment at the World Cup when a clearly-over-the-line Frank Lampard effort was not spotted by either the ref or his assistant – though I think we’ve all stopped kidding ourselves now that the goal would have made the slightest bit of difference on the day, or to England’s entire tournament come to that – the question of goal line technology has once again reared its ugly head, this time back in the Premier League.
With Spurs leading 2-1 at Stoke, four minutes from time a close-range header from Stoke’s Jon Walters hit Peter Crouch in the midriff a good yard over the line, and with even a hint of handball in there just to make matters worse.
That the ball had crossed the line was spotted by pretty much the entire stadium – both the home players and the crowd celebrated what they thought was a goal – but the one man in the stadium who wasn’t sure was the only one whose judgement counted: referee Chris Foy.
The ‘establishment’ – you know them – argue that a ref’s job is a hard one (yep, agreed), and that it’s difficult for them to see everything that happens on a football field (indeed – this is undeniable), but in what can only be described as a bit of an own goal, Foy probably had a better view than anyone in the Britannia, standing only six yards away from the action and just about on the goal line as the ball crept over.
The views of the two managers on the ‘goal’ was unsurprisingly contradictory: Tony Pulis saw a definite equaliser, while Harry Redknapp saw a foul on Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes in the build-up. Well he would, wouldn’t he?
But with the ref somehow seeing nothing – neither foul nor goal – and even looking towards his much-further-away assistant in the aftermath, the argument in favour of goal line technology can only have been strengthened.
Are you watching Sepp Blatter? (Probably not – he doesn’t like English football.)