Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Goal-line technology not enough to drag football into modern age

Hawkeye will be introduced in the Premier League from next season
Goal-line technology is now in use in the Premier League

Finally having agreed – belatedly and, one suspects, reluctantly – to embrace modernity by accepting goal-line technology, football has joined the rest of the world's sporting family.

Too late to prove England's Geoff Hurst's 1966 World Cup final 'goal' wasn't one, or to confirm that fellow-countryman Frank Lampard's disallowed though wholly legitimate 'equaliser' against the same nation – Germany – 44 years later was perfectly good.

I have no problem with the fact that football prides itself on being the undisputed game of the masses, although reality here is that attendances at Casement Park and Ravenhill eclipse those at Windsor Park. More people attended last Friday night's Ulster v Leinster pre-season rugby friendly than saw Northern Ireland host Russia the previous week. Fact.

Football, having come late to the table at which tennis, cricket and rugby took their seats some time ago, can we now hope that those entrusted with the well-being of The Beautiful Game might start making up for lost time by voting for more changes?

An example? On Tuesday night, Liverpool and Notts County met in the Capital One Cup. Kolo Toure's groin injury required lengthy on-field treatment before he was stretchered off.

The clock continued to tick, giving rise to a situation where neither the players nor anyone watching on TV knew how much time would be added.

It happens every week in every match. Ever thought of just stopping the clock, lads?