I have worked in the comms industry for more years then I care to remember and seen firsthand how technology has progressed, yet I'm still amazed as to the advancements our lives have made due to the wonders we have within our lives. So many facets of our existences have been made that much easier due to technology. Of course you only have to look at our hospitals, airports, cars and other modes of transport to realise just how far we've come.
You realise how easy we have it now especially when you recall how long the trip to turn the television over was before the advent of remote controls, and now there are even hand recognised televisions! We've got apps on mobile phones, mobile phones that are not the size of house bricks. I'm writing this on an iPad, yet another tool that is quickly becoming an essential part of our lives.
So my question is with all this advancement why is my sport of choice - football, still lagging so far behind when it comes to using technology?
The argument is that it will slow the game down and in turn spoil the enjoyment for fans. But I don’t buy into that theory at all. The reality is you only have to look at sports such as cricket, tennis and rugby when their equivalent of Hawk-Eye is used it breeds excitement, you can tangibly feel the anticipation as the spectators await the result of a disputed call. The information to ascertain the correct outcome of any dispute is so fast it makes nonsense of any ideas that the beautiful game will be spoilt in anyway. Most certainly the game could continue if need be and any disallowed or a not given goal could be added to the score line.
That said we’re speaking about a second. The Hawk-Eye system was designed in the UK (I don’t have any shares options I’d quickly like to point out!) and uses 14 cameras that can relay any decision to the man in black within one second. I suppose I’m kind of glad that it wasn’t in existence when Sir Geoff’s Hirst’s scored his second goal of his acclaimed hat-trick in the ’66 world cup! But if this is true, and I’ve no reason to doubt their word then it has to be introduced, despite what Sepp Blatter of Michel Platini, football’s two main head-honchos, say.
I’m not entirely sure why Blatter and Platini have been dragging their heels on this. Thankfully the pro-camp appear to be winning the day as the leading companies in this field, the aforementioned Hawk-Eye and the joint Danish and German system, GoalRef, which uses magnetic strips in the ball, which in turn are picked up by sensors on the goal line, have both been granted licenses by footballs world governing body, FIFA. Although FIFA have been quick to make sure both companies have adequate insurance in place in case of any costly lawsuits.
So my hat is in the pro goal-line technology camp. I’d love to hear from any of you, all views welcome and noted!
Until next timeSteve Wilkin