1 min read

Goal-Line Technology vs. Video Referees


FIFA’s plan is to introduce goal-line technology but I wonder if what we really should be experimenting with is a video referee. Suppose that person had access to what the television viewer at home sees.

(Source: ESPN FC, Football must move with the times)


Great idea from Derek Rae (my favorite play-by-play / commentator, by far).

Why not combine MLB’s cautious approach with the NHL’s single-location review:

  • Only goal disputes can be replayed
  • All replays are conducted through a single site

This would limit the amount of infrastructure needed (the cameras are all already there) and costs (a single site instead of a replay booth at every field).

Once that’s introduced, scale it back if it’s too much of an interruption.

I’d guess the goal-line technology, while prudent and accurate, will leave fans in lower leagues frustrated with its slow rollout (who absorbs the costs?).

And what about the international matches? How does a tiny nation like Bhutan, tied for 207th in the FIFA Work Rankings, pay for goal-line technology?

I’d rather see replays up and running across all football leagues and tournaments in a consistent time-frame using the same technology we see in our homes than waiting for technology that will cost / confuse too much.

Of course, using either approach, Luis Suarez’s goal would remain disallowed (it was ruled offside, not a non-goal).

Still, baby steps.