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Goalllllllllllll! oh wait….maybe not

The day I began to walk was the day I learnt to kick a soccer ball. My brother had my early days of walking filled with soccer. I was a chubby baby, but once I started walking and playing soccer I began to fly. Soccer dominates the world of sport. Today it is the most popular/most played sport on the world. It is accessible to people of any background, requiring only a ball and as many players as you may allow. For many soccer is seen as a way out, a claim to fame! In some of the poorest parts of Africa, you will still find spirited children kicking a ball around.

That is why I have chose this topic. I love the game, and currently goal line technology is a key talking point. It can win or lose a game. Some games, like the Champions League Final, have such high stakes, potentially earning a club hundreds of millions of dollars. We are currently at the peak of the game, athletes are being paid incredible amounts ($50,000-$275,00 per week), there are fans in every country and their skill levels are the best in history.

Therefore the stakes are high!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the sport, there are 4 officials. 2 linesmen on the sides of field, 1 next to the coaches and the referee himself. The field itself is huge, and the game is played at an intense pace. Several shots are fired towards the goal and for officials it becomes difficult to distinguish whether the ball has fully crossed the line. In 2005 Tottenham Hotspur played Manchester United at Old Trafford, where Pedro Mendes rifled a 55 yard shot that was caught then dropped by the goal keeper. Neither official could determine whether the ball had crossed the line and therefore couldn’t give the decision. Later footage showed the ball clearly crossed the line.

How it affects us?

Will it ruin the game? The worry is that introducing goal line technology would slow down the game. FIFA have introduced 2 extra officials in European games, and there role is to look for any penalty decisions and to determine whether the ball has crossed the line. For me however, they seem unused and inefficient. They still struggle to see through the ramble of players that are sometimes found on the line or they are caught off by the speed of the shots at goal.

Method 1. In July 2011 FIFA sanctioned tests on 10 different methods of goal line technology. The Cairos GLT system is produced by a german company and they are currently working alongside adidas to develop goal line technology. They place sensors inside the ball, allowing the ball to be tracked on the field, with a trigger alarmed when the ball crosses the goal line. The signal is sent to a computer and within seconds the referee receives a buzz on his watch with the decision. This method seems quite quick. In February of this year it was approved in all FIFA tournaments.

Method 2. Another method that has been discussed is Hawkeye. Similar to the tennis and cricket hawkeye requires several cameras to be placed around the stadium, allowing an image to be formed within seconds of being kicked. However the system may take more time and questions have been asked about the reliability, with well known athletes like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal showing distrust towards the system.

Opinions of professional’s. Arsene Wenger, manager of Arsenal, has raised concerns over the systems. “Football can be so quick that the ball can go in and go out and something can happen in the moment between the ball going in and the signal comes up, so what does the referee decide?” Wenger asked.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130808/arsene-wenger-goal-line-technology.ap/#ixzz2gOKSykhD

The next step? The next phase is to use the technology in a live stadium, with a training session and full game. By doing this lab reports can be gathered and reliability and quickness of the system can be analyzed. There needs to be proof that the system will not take away the speed of the game. With the GLT system looking most favorable, we could see the system used in next years World Cup, where the stakes are higher than ever.

Put to the test

To conclude I’m deeply in favor of goal line technology. The extra officials that are currently being used seem inefficient and appear to lack vision and communication with the main referee. For many however, they feel that the controversy is what makes the game special, its why the sport is most popular and talked about. I do agree that the controversy intensifies the game and support, but for me the players and fans deserve just decisions. They deserve to see there club or country fairly achieve the greatest goals.

This is why I love soccer! There is so much to analyze with this one topic alone. Playing at college level, I regularly see poor decisions. Just last year our team saw defeat in Denver to a poor ruling by an official, proved by video footage. This one goal ruined our season. That one goal proved to be crucial, so imagine how important the situation becomes for professionals. There is so much passion!


Goal line technology. (n.d.). Retrieved from Fifa.com website:

Soccer-Premier League unveils goalline technology to end disputes. (2013, August
8). Retrieved from Yahoo.com website: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/

Soccer to Adopt Goal Line Technology. (2012, July 5). Retrieved from New York
Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/sports/soccer/

Asene Wenger Raises concern over EPL goal line technology. (2013, August 8).
Retrieved from Sports Illustrated website: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/

Premier League Set For Goal Line Technology. (2013, August 14). Retrieved from
New Straits Times website: http://www.nst.com.my/sports/soccer/

Premier League Launches Goal Line Technology. (2013, August 8). Retrieved from
BBC Sport website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23616170

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