By Walter Broeckx
In January Sepp Blatter declared according to various media that he was in favour of goal line technology. This was rather a surprising thing as in the years before he was someone who was against the use of technology. But there was joy among people who have always been in favour of the use of goal line technology for this U-turn.
Now the decision on using such things is not alone the responsibility of Sepp Blatter. No it is up to some committee who is keeping an eye on the rules. I don’t know who is in this committee but if this committee is the same like the committee’s that I see every now and then from our FA than you should imagine that they have an average age of somewhere between 80 and 90 years old. I don’t have anything against older people but you could easily imagine how most of those people don’t like all those new things.
So they decided to … do nothing. No technology will be used. Now as good democrats we can only accept it. But now you hear Blatter telling everybody that he is against goal line technology. He gives various reasons for this such as, “who will pay for such technology?” And this could be a valid argument for let’s say the league played on Fiji. But can someone really say without bursting in to laughter that this would cost too much to introduce those things in the EPL ?
And then he said that every game all over the world should be played with the same rules. He said: ‘The simplicity and universality of the game of association football is one of the reasons for its success. Men, women, children, amateurs and professionals all play the same game all over the world.’
Now I really don’t know how much Blatter knows about football but when you look at the rule book on the first pages there is written and I quote:
Subject to the agreement of the member association concerned and provided the principles of these Laws are maintained, the Laws may be modified in their application for matches for players of under 16 years of age, for women footballers, for veteran footballers (over 35 years of age) and for players with disabilities.
Any or all of the following modifications are permissible:
• size of the field of play
• size, weight and material of the ball
• width between the goalposts and height of the crossbar from the ground
• duration of the periods of play
So in fact the rules are not the same for “men, women, children, amateurs and professionals”. Games and the rules could be different from country to country. Even offside is not the same in every country when you play youth football. Even in punishments the rules are different. If an amateur in my country hits a ref he gets a 3 year ban. If a professional players does the same he gets a few months. Just to show you that the rules now are not the same for everyone like they said.
But don’t worry football is in the safe hands of people who are protecting the rules so well that they have not even got past page 5 of their own rule book.
One of the other reasons that got mentioned in the media in my country was the fact that if they would use goal technology it would be less entertaining for the fans after the game. Because in that case we could not have the same discussions over the ball crossing the line or not.
Now don’t you ever dare to say that those high placed persons don’t feel for the fan way below the football pyramid. No, they are afraid we would have nothing more to discuss in the pub, we would drink less and the world economy would fall to pieces.
Did you ever realise how much damage to our lives that a camera on the line could cause?
But lucky Blatter and Fifa have rescued the world economy by their decision. I bet they cannot imagine that we can talk for hours in the pub by describing Nasri’s goal against Porto. And discussing such a goal is much more fun than talking about the fact that maybe the ball didn’t always cross the line.
So Blatter is now defending the non-use technology and has made another U-turn in two months time. One can only hope he doesn’t get too dizzy from all that turning in different directions.
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