There has long been controversy of decisions made by referees in football matches and many claim that the introduction of technology to the decision making process would completely rule out any controversy and questionable results. In the recent world cup there were many examples, particularly when England scored against Germany a goal that what was witnessed by millions but unfortunately not the ref. Many fans claim that had this goal been counted the unfortunate outcome would have been much different.
Football commentators have at their disposal a variety of multi-angle replays and software which can are meticulously analysed to clarify any decision made during the match; however these abilities have no impact on the outcome of the game and are used for the sole purpose of discussing the game. By analysing existing camera angles, experts can determine the precise position of a ball, the players and even whether a tackle was actually a foul or not.
This technology is now commonly used in rugby as referees call upon video footage to help clarify a ruling during the game. They take around 30 seconds to consult video footage when a decision is too difficult to make from one viewpoint. They will also confer with several other officials over a decision before a ruling is made and this has meant that not a single decision has been questioned or argued since its introduction.
There are also many examples of sophisticated technology that could speed up the decision making process by automatically indicating information to a referee. There are several prominent designs for precise goal line technology that consistently place microchips inside the centre of a ball and laser detection across the line. Relatively simple technology could determine the exact location of a ball on the pitch in relation to the goal and any of the players; this could also help determine whether a player is offside or out of bounds.
Although there is much evidence in favour of the use of on-pitch technology, every international institution has so far dismissed it and instead explored a variety of extra officials. International football body FIFA have so far dismissed it as an option but the UK’s FA are reportedly planning to begin talks with clubs at the beginning of October. Exploring technological possibilities would be welcomed by many players and particularly the fans that are known to hold grudges against bad decisions for decades.