http://www.betfred.com/TV-ad-free-bet
Betfred Sport

The Gordon Hill column: The time has come for goalline technology

After a weekend of terrible calls, it’s about time for goalline technology.

I am sure that referees do not realise what it means when they allow a goal or disallow a goal in a very important game, when they don’t know if the ball went over the line or or not.

That decision means a lot of hard work has been put in and has gone against a team through no fault of their own and could drastically affect the club finances if they lose the game as a result of that decision.

The team could be playing well but one mistake can have devastating consequences.

Lack of respect

This leads to a lack of respect for the officials and more cards, which is not what we want.

I have played in such games and have had calls like this go against my team and there is nothing you can do about it. When you argue with the ref you then get booked, or these days you could even be sent off.

I still scratch my head when players are not allowed to show emotions and if they say something after the game the FA come down on them.

Referees seem to escape because you cannot ask them why they made that decision, and as a player get done for criticising them.

Players and managers want answers

But when you see what is at stake for a club and its players you can understand why players and managers want answers.

The modern goalline technology is not ground breaking – as it is used successfully in other sports such as tennis and cricket – but to football it just may be.

I have looked into the systems and it looks like FIFA and its rule makers, who have not wanted the change for the last few years, will be testing a couple of them to see which one is suitable for the game – and about time too.

There have been more mistakes happening and I am not surprised that the media, players, clubs and administrators and supporters have all piled pressure on to resolve this situation.

The game has evolved into a big business with lots of money being thrown about. Clubs want success, so technology has to go with it.

New techniques

We have seen new techniques and systems come into the game such as how players are analysed and have their performance monitored.

Videos of matches are available and all of this has come into the game and improved it, and now plays a big part in it.

We have seen the new ball introduced with it being much lighter and more aerodynamic, as well as boots that look like someone has just put them together with different coloured leathers and stitched together.

You now have names on jerseys so you can help TV out with knowing who is playing.

Does this not tell the likes of Sepp Blatter, and the people he controls in his little man empire, that goalline technology has to come into the game?

The wrong people are controlling our game

I am tired of seeing the wrong people control our game, but hopefully we can get ahead with this technology.

There were some abysmal mistakes at the weekend and the one that sticks out was in the Chelsea v Tottenham game, when the ball stopped a foot short of the line but a goal was given.

And don’t forget England’s game against Germany in the 2010 World Cup, when the ball clearly went over the line after Frank Lampard’s shot, but the goal wasn’t given.

Would goalline technology have helped in these situations? Most certainly.

The new technology is available and there are two systems in consideration are Hawkeye, which is owned by Sony, and Goalref, which is manufactured by a Danish company.

Each system has the capacity to inform the referee within less than one second whether a goal should stand or not.

Just ask Harry if he wants goalline technology!

Just ask the Tottenham players and Harry Redknapp if they are in favour of a system that can do that. It might not have changed the result for them, but it would have maybe changed the game.

I am glad, to some extent, that this happened in a big game, as it has opened up the subject and shown millions of people why goalline technology is needed.

A big mistake like that, in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium, with millions watching, has certainly put the pressure on, and as Gordon Taylor, the PFA chairman, has said, why we should expect to put all the onus on referees.

It is time for football’s governing bodies to admit that they are way behind the times.

Do I feel strongly about it? Yes. Will it be better for the game if goalline technology is introduced? Yes. Will it satisfy managers and players? Yes.

The game is moving forward, but people who have never played the game are running it. I do not mean Platini of course, he was a great player and is trying to keep up with the modern game.

Let’s not forget that this game is about the ordinary every day people who play it, love the game and support it through thick and thin, which makes it the greatest game on this earth. And I don't care who disagrees with me.

By Gordon Hill

Gordon Hill was capped six times for England in the 1970s and made 132 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 51 goals. He scored both United goals in their 1976 FA Cup semi-final win against Derby and played in the Red Devils' 2-1 FA Cup final triumph against Liverpool in 1977.

He has played for Millwall, Derby, QPR and FC Twente, and managed Chester City and Hyde. He has also played in Finland, the USA and Canada, where he managed the Novia Scotia Clippers in the Canadian Soccer League.

As a media commentator, Hill has worked with Sky Sports, BBC, ITV and Talk Radio. He lives with his wife Claire in McKinney, Texas. Hill now owns and runs Texas-based club United FC


< Back to Columnists