The goal that never was

The issue of technology in football reared its ugly head again this weekend when Crystal Palace were denied a blatant goal in their game against Bristol City – which Palace then agonisingly lost 1-0 in the closing stages.

“If they can’t see that, they need help.”

Neil Warnock isn’t wrong when he says that. How the referee and linesman haven’t seen that between them is beyond belief. The reaction of the players and the fans indicate that a goal was scored.

However, I’m right behind Warnock when he criticises the opposing manager. For what was such a blatant indiscretion and one that was clearly acknowledged by the Bristol City players, I believe Gary Johnson should have instructed his men to allow Palace to score a goal, unopposed.

Where it leaves the technology debate is unclear.

Surely introducing cameras or anything else on the goal line distances professional football from the grassroots. Plus what are the logistics of it all? It won’t be cheap, and where do you stop? Championship level? League 1? League 2? Conference even?

Although it’s annoying when it happens, incidents like this are few and far between and thus surely cannot justify yet more expense for clubs.

People point to the use of technology in rugby league, cricket and tennis, which have helped their respective sports. However, the advantage they have is that after each incident there is a convenient pause to the game – this is something that can’t happen in football. You can’t expect players to freeze in their positions until a game restarts.

Perhaps the solution is to introduce two more officials who stand behind the goal. They could then judge on the awarding of corners/goal kicks as well as goals. The only problem with this is the abuse they may be subjected to by fans – who aren’t renowned for being friendly.

In ice hockey, there are goal officials who press a buzzer when a goal is scored and in rugby league, there are match officials in the in goal areas to verify tries.

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