Is it time to think outside the box?Posted by George Cumming
I have followed the discussions on goal line technology with great interest.
I welcome the recent approval by the International FA Board of goal line technology although I have serious reservations about the UEFA sponsored additional assistant system.
I was involved in preparing the revised version of the Laws of the Game in 1997 and am very aware that the Laws of the Game must be both conservative, recognising that changes must be applied worldwide, but also dynamic, taking into account the modern situation in football.
This was done with the pass to the goalkeeper, the tackle from behind and with denying a goal or an obvious goal scoring opportunity.
Television has changed football.
There would have been no debate today about whether the ball had crossed the goal line for the controversial English goal in the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany.
The all seeing eye of the television camera and the slow motion television replays would have given an answer in seconds – and so avoided more than 45 years of controversy!
Decision making about whether or not the ball has crossed the goal line is very difficult for match officials according to the present Law.
Perhaps we should think outside the box and change the Laws to award a goal when part of the ball crosses the goal line and not the whole ball.
I believe there is great value in considering this change to the Laws of the Game which considers the ball to be out of play when part of it, not the whole ball, has passed over a boundary line.
This would mean that a throw in would be awarded when part of the ball passes over the touch line and a goal kick or corner kick would be awarded when part of the ball passes over the goal line. A penalty kick would also be awarded if the offence occurred inside the penalty area and not on the penalty area line.
The controversial decision in the 2002 FIFA World Cup to disallow the goal for Spain v Korea would be a non event since part of the ball had passed over the goal line and so according to the new Law, the ball was out of play and goal kick would be awarded.
The main advantage of this change would be that a goal would be awarded if any part of the ball crosses the goal line, not the whole ball as at present and this would be easier for the match officials to recognise.
I realise that, politically, it may not be the best time to introduce this change, but goal line technology is only for the very rich.
It is meaningless to 99.99% of the game
This change in definition would benefit all levels of the game and is worthy of consideration.