Monday, June 28, 2010

It's a funny old game

Let's first be clear about something, this is not a sore loser post. Yesterday England got hammered and deserved to lose. Frankly they could easily have been four down at the break, and they were lucky not be given the sort of kicking North Korea got from Portugal.

What's more, it was deliciously ironic, nay, almost amusing to see England concede the first goal as a result of the atypical English "long ball" strategy, given that Germany's own legend Franz Beckanbauer had slated England for playing that way.

Yes, it's indisputable, the England team have had a woeful World Cup. However, there is a far more important reality of yesterday's game that FIFA need to sort out and it's obvious where I'm going with this, we need to sort out managing the goal line, be it with technology or people.

Last year, in the Europa League, UEFA introduced two extra officials who stood on the goal line for just this reason. Had such officials been present yesterday, or during Italy's game, the result and course of the torunament may well have been very different.

Of course, you could introduce the hawkeye style technology that tennis uses to judge a ball in or out. The argument of FIFA that this will effect the universality of the game because lower levels will not be able to afford the technology is nonsense.

No doubt Sep Blatter and FIFA were releived that Germany put the game beyond doubt in the second half because it makes the "it was a goal" line an academic one that can be easily ignored.

Yes, football is harsh sometimes. Decisions can go your way, and other times they can't. But surely it is becoming a bit of a joke that in the 21st Century you can confirm a ball is over the line within in seconds and yet the referee is not allowed to review it.

The only positive to take is if Germany go on to win the tournament and then at least England know they were beaten by only the best.

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