It had to happen sometime and it happened in the highest profile match of the tournament so far.

The controversial decision not to award a goal when England midfielder Frank Lampard’s lob rebounded from the crossbar and crossed the goal line has re-ignite the whole question of goal line technology and video replays.

I say goal line technology and video replays because I believe the two things are very different.

Goal line technology, if it can be perfected to send a direct signal to the referee in the space of at least two seconds, must be now considered.

I have been involved in the concept of goal line technology for almost 20 years at the Scottish Football Association, the International FA Board and FIFA.

I have seen demonstrations by a number of inventors. Some ideas involved blasting the goal with a number of laser beams – hardly a safe environment for the goalkeeper.

Others involved chip technology where each match ball had a chip inserted and so its exact position could be determined at all times, including when it crossed the goal line.

The trials of this technology were not so successful during the 2008 FIFA World Youth Championships in Chile. When a second ball was mistakenly thrown on by a ball boy the system could not register it and the system had to recalibrate.

adidas and Cairos, the development company involved, decided that more research was needed after the 2008 experience.

In tennis, the Hawkeye system has become a well accepted system in the Grand Slam tournaments.

With the encouragement of the Football Association, it had refined the system for use in football and the suggestions were that it had potential.

At the International FA Board meeting in 2010, however, FIFA stated that it did not wish to proceed with any form of video technology, and after a split vote its views were accepted.

It did give approval for the proposal of UEFA President, Michel Platini, to have an addition two assistants on each goal line to go ahead as an experiment in the UEFA Europa Cup Competition.

In my opinion, the decision to reject goal line technology was taken too soon.

Both Hawkeye and adidas/Cairos had redefined and developed their systems and they should have been given more time to prove their value.

I go back to my original point, however. Any system must be self standing and give a direct indication to the referee within a few seconds.

It is only possible also in national leagues with large amounts of finance available to install the selected system in every stadium or in major tournaments such as the World Cup.

I said earlier that video replays were a different matter.

I am strongly against the use of video replays since that takes us into a much wider argument.

More of that tomorrow.

This blog was posted just as Argentina scored its first goal in the match against Mexico.

Need I say more!

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