LONDON: Just over a week after football edged towards the introduction of goal-line technology an incident in the Premier League suggested that some influential managers and observers had not studied the details of what is being proposed writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The Football Association repeated its “strong desire to see goal-line technology introduced as soon as possible” after Queens Park Rangers had a ‘goa’l not awarded in Premier League defeat at Bolton after a Clint Hill header was ruled not to have crossed the line.
Replays showed that Hill’s effort from Joey Barton’s corner clearly crossed the line before it was clawed out by keeper Adam Bogdan but neither referee Martin Atkinson nor his assistant gave it. QPR ultimately lost 2-1.
Within an hour of the incident and before the game had even finishde, the FA released its statement, which read: “Following last week’s meeting of IFAB (International Football Association Board), the FA would like to reiterate our strong desire to see goal-line technology introduced as soon as possible. The FA has been a leading proponent of goal-line technology for many years.
“We will continue to press for its introduction once further independent testing is complete later this year so that anyone wishing to introduce the technology is able to do so at the earliest possible opportunity.”
QPR manager Mark Hughes responded by accusing the FA of using its support for goal-line technology to cover up the poor performance of the officials. He said: “It’s a joke. Martin Atkinson’s acknowledged as one of the better referees and his performance was okay but I thought he was let down by his assistants.
“In fairness they even got our goal wrong because that was slightly offside so they haven’t covered themselves in glory. They missed a penalty, they missed a handball in the area. In the end I think the guy on my side completely lost his nerve to make any decisions.”
A selection of reactions to the incident included talk of rugby-style video referees. In fact, the International Board is in the final testing phase of two systems which would provide an ‘in or out’ electronic signal direct to the referee within one second of the ball crossing the line.
The earliest time IFAB will make a decision is on July 2 but it is highly doubtful whether Premier League clubs, in their entirety, could have a system evaluated, costed and installed in time for the start of next season.
FA general secretary Alex Horne has said the most likely introduction would be for the 2013-14.