Premier League Goal-Line Technology: The Modern Game vs Tradition?(PART 1)

With the electric pace that the modern game moves at these days means that decisions made in real-time are becoming even harder to identify, and with the margins becoming even finer between winning and losing, split-second decisions and fine detail are becoming part of every topic of debate in football from the top divisions to the lower leagues worldwide.

The argument for goal-line technology in football has raged for many years now, with the outcome from the least important games to the most, week in week out, across the world, being decided on ‘debatable’ decisions that leave fans who go home disappointed from each game crying out for those of the footballing hierarchy to “move with the times”.

As an avid football fan myself, it filled me with delight to hear that goal-line technology is reportedly on the cards to be in use in premier league games come the 2013-14 season.

Widely regarded as the greatest footballing league in the world it is, in my eyes, certainly the league with the highest game-pace of any in the world. This all made possible due the vast diversity of incredible players offering different spices and flavours to satisfy the footballing pallet of Premier League fans all over the world.

It is understood that the Premier League Hierarchy is in talks with two different companies over the use of their technology. Firstly, ‘HawkEye’, whom all tennis fans will know of; Secondly, ‘GoalRef’, who have been testing their own technology over the past couple of years looking to perfect their own design, which differs slightly to that of HawkEye.

HawkEye technology employs a system of six cameras that cover the goal area. Should the ball cross the line at all, an encrypted message is sent within one second of the incident to new technology embedded into the referee’s wristwatch which will allow the referee to give a decision.

GoalRef technology incorporates on the two posts and the crossbar which monitor the magnetic field surrounding the goalmouth, and it is used to check any changes in this magnetic field, which would be triggered by the ball crossing the line.

The likely outcome will be that Premier League officials will evaluate the technology ahead of next season, and, after making a decision on what technology to use, will make the use of this technology a mandatory requirement for all 20 Premier League clubs, including the 3 newly promoted teams. The same system is most likely to also be introduced at Wembley for international games for England.

A Premier League Spokesman went on record saying: – “We are in advanced discussions with two of the companies who provide the systems and we are working on the basis of having goal-line technology in place for the start of the season.

“All clubs will have to have the system to ensure the universal integrity of the competition, including those who are promoted.”

The whole movement for goal-line technology has come amid a rising amount of criticism in recent years for referees and officials and their decision-making during crucial moment in games every week that should, with the introduction of technology such as those being looked at by HawkEye and GoalRef, no longer receive such scrutiny over ‘controversial’ decisions.

One of the big questions though is, despite that for many years now funds are not exactly limited in the world’s most lucrative sporting division, why, despite the prolonged protests from fans, players and managers alike, has such a decision become so hard to reach for such a long time?

One of the main reasons is that many in the hierarchy of FIFA and UEFA fear that to modernise the game in such a way can become a danger to the traditional traits of the game. Many of them feel that for this idea to branch out from somewhere like the Premier League might be impractical for other leagues across the world that don’t have the funding that matches the Premier League, La Liga or Serie A to name a few examples. This could present a problem when it comes to European and International competitions, despite the belief that a trial run of the technology at the World Club Championship in December was deemed an all-round success.

So what are the advantages and pitfalls that goal-line technology can bring? This is what I will discuss in Part Two of this article. The key question to bear in mind going into the next instalment is this: When does the modern world start to overbear tradition? And what matters most to you in the beautiful game?

BY: ROBERT PRITCHARD

Information sourced from the following links:-