Where will goal-line technology lead us?

  It was announced on April 11 that Goal-Line technology would be introduced for the next Premiership season, in addition to the 2014 World Cup.  So, great news, the old sceptic Sepp Blatter has been brought round to the long-overdue technology, and the world is a better place for it. After being denied in South Africa, England’s prayers have been answered. The ball is now in their court to find a new way to be inevitably ‘unfairly’ eliminated in the 2014 edition.

Joking aside, it is worth remembering Goal-Line technology will not end controversy in football. Hawk-eye would not have prevented the Ronaldo wink in 2006, or the disallowed Sol Campbell goal in the 2004 Euros. Football controversies will continue. Bad tackles will be made, players in off-side positions will score goals and strikers will dive in the penalty area.

However, it is important the technology debate doesn’t go too far.

Now technology is in place for Goal-Lines, it would be tempting to call for technology for all lines once a wrongly allowed throw-in or corner leads to a goal. It’s only fair, and if the technology is there than why not? And what about off-side decisions? Controversial goals, such as Argentina’s winner against Mexico in the 2010 World Cup, could be avoided right? While we are on a roll why stop there? Replay technology, like they use in Rugby could be used to judge whether players should be sent off or not. Future Luis Suarez’ would be instantly dismissed rather than a tedious FA board meeting.

All too-soon football could become like a video-game, with nothing left to chance, and machines dictating play. The role of referee would be all-but ceremonial and could sleep easily at night, rather than being forced to pack in the job and become washing-machine salesmen like Anders Frisk in 2005.

But would this not deprive football of that element of chance? Controversy is a talking-point if nothing else. Games would become stop-start, rather than free-flowing, more like American-Football. The biggest problem though would be the gulf created between the top and lower leagues. Football would become a different game depending on which division it was played in, with lower league clubs suffering through not being able to afford and implement the necessary technology. This could make it more difficult for players to adapt to higher leagues, and play under a different system.

Goal-Line technology should be an addition welcomed to the game, but should not set a precedent for technology interfering.