Sport Innovation/Goal-line Technology/Arguments against the introduction of goal-line technology

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Over the past decade the debate as to whether or not goal-line technology should be introduced into Football has produced many compelling arguments both for and against its introduction. The majority of arguments against the introduction have stemmed from FIFA presidents Sepp Blatter. A summary of those arguments include:

• The potential inaccuracy of the technology
• The difficulty in controlling the new ball
• The game will no longer be the same at all levels
• The high cost of implementing the technology
• It undermines the concept that the referees decision is final
• The human element of decision making in other areas of the game is still substantial and does not reduce the risk of inaccuracy
• Finally that spectators love the debate

What appears to be the primary concerns of FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, is the potential the inaccuracy of the technology, whether it can detect if the whole of the ball has crossed the line and the delay in transmitting data. There have also been complaints from players, Clarence Seedorf and Hugo Ibarra, who have tested the technology regarding the difficulty in controlling the new ball and its trajectory [1].

Also on the list of arguments against the introduction of GLT is ‘universality’ [2]. Those opposed to the introduction claim that it would separate the games played in the park from that played in the stadiums. Sepp Blatterr has been quoted on several occasions saying that the game must be played in the same way no matter where in the world [3]. Whether it’s a team of under 12s playing in a small town, they will be playing with the same rules as the professional players as seen on television.

Not all teams will be able to afford the rumoured half a million pounds to install and implement the technology. The oldest association football competition in the world, the FA Cup, allows teams from the largest clubs in England and Wales down to amateur village teams to play. Clearly not all teams within the Cup will be able to afford the technology.

There are fears that the introduction of the technology could undermine the concept that the referee's decision is final [2]. Some skeptics believe that players will take advantage of the technology and begin to challenge all other calls made by the referees.

Sepp Blatter has continued to argue that football must retain its human aspect. He believe that not matter which technology is applied, at the end of the day a decision will have to be made by a human being [4]. So why remove the responsibility from the referee and give it to someone else [5]. It is not just decisions regarding goal that could affect the outcome of a game. Referees also make decisions regarding offside players and those who foul. In recent years there have been games in which case a player has been offside or fouled and the team has gone on to score [6].

A final argument endorsed by FIFA's president against the introduction of GLT is that the fans love the debate [5]. He believes long after the game will the fans continue to discuss the issue. So, as long as fans are talking about football, whether it be in a positive or negative way, it is good for the sport.

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