The topic of goal-line technology has been a hot one in the soccer world in recent years, though the IFAB has seemed reluctant to move on the issue. It wasn't until the 2010 World Cup that the need for goal-line technology jumped to the fore, with this missed call:
Uruguayan referee, Jorge Larrionda, botched the call on Frank Lampard's clear equalizer in England's eventual 4-1 loss to Germany in the round of 16. Who knows how the game would have played out if the Three Lions had been awarded the goal? The complexion of the game would have been altered with the scoreline sitting at 2-2 instead of 2-1.
|How does the assistant ref miss this call? (via @MikeMartignago)|
Despite such high profile examples of referee error, goal-line technology has some high profile opponents. Michel Platini, head of Europe's soccer governing body UEFA, wants soccer calls to remain in human hands and support additional assistant referees instead of a technological solution. FIFA vice-president, Prince Ali of Jordan, also opposes the introduction of goal-line technology.
If the either Hawkeye or GoalRef are to be introduced, 6 of the 8 members of the IFAB would need to support the measure. The decision to move forward with testing is positive, as is the response from various members of the IFAB. English FA Chief Executive, Alex Horne, expects, "that, provided the companies fulfill the criteria, [the IFAB] will be passing the use of the systems into the laws on 2 July in Kiev."
The IFAB is notoriously slow in changing the laws of the game, but soccer needs to move forward with this technology to remove one of the biggest chances for human error in the game. Sports that hold their traditions in nearly as high esteem as soccer, such as baseball and tennis, have added technological assistance for officials in recent years. Those additions have been generally well received, once introduced, despite some skepticism before their implementation. I expect the same to be true when/if the beautiful game decides to move forward.