The cries for goal-line technology in international soccer competitions grew to cacophony across Europe on Tuesday night in the wake of another blown call during England’s 1-0 victory over Ukraine.
Marko Devic’s chip into the English goal was not awarded despite the ball crossing the line before John Terry knocked it out. It was the second missed goal in a major international competition in three years, joining Frank Lampard’s clear goal against Germany at World Cup 2010, and finally, it seems, enough is enough.
After last night's match #GLT is no longer an alternative but a necessity.— Joseph S Blatter (@SeppBlatter) June 20, 2012
Devic’s goal would have knotted the score at 1 and given the co-hosts a monumental boost in the effort to pull out a win. Ukraine still needed a victory to advance to the quarterfinals, but a 62nd-minute goal would have afforded it time to push for a game-winner.
UEFA is testing a five-official system during Euro 2012 that features two additional assistants beside the goal. One official was a mere five feet from the England goal mouth when Dekic’s shot crossed the line, but he did not signal a goal.
At a media briefing in Warsaw on Monday, UEFA President Michael Platini said he expected Blatter to push for goal-line technology despite his own reluctance.
“Yes, Blatter will do it,” Platini said. “He will [introduce] the technology, but I think it’s a big mistake. . . . It’s the beginning of the technology, the arrival of the technology.”
As is often the case in professional sports — most recently in American football and baseball, where the extent of replay continues to be debated — traditionalists have argued removing the human element of officiating will tarnish the game. But with each incident, the chorus pushing for change grows louder.
Lampard’s no-goal in South Africa would have tied the score at 2. Instead, Germany went on to win 4-1 and advanced to the semifinals.
The English were the beneficiaries of a disputed goal in the 1966 World Cup final when Geoff Hurst’s shot hit the underside of the bar and bounced down on the goal line — without ever fully crossing the line — to give England a 3-2 lead against West Germany. They went on to win the match and their first World Cup, 4-2.
Is it time for all major international competitions to implement goal-line technology? Or is the sport fine just the way it is?